24 Nov Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb: Gunners keep hopes alive
Arsenal kept alive their faint hopes of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League after a comprehensive victory over Dinamo Zagreb.
Mesut Ozil opened the scoring with a brave diving header before Alexis Sanchez doubled their lead after Nacho Monreal had telegraphed Leonardo Sigali’s pass out from the back.
Ozil had a couple of chances to extend the lead further before Sanchez grabbed his second of the night rounding Eduardo the goalkeeper.
With Bayern Munich comfortably dismantling Olympiakos in the other group game it means Arsenal can still make the last-16 if they beat the Greeks by at least two goals in Piraeus on matchday six.
If they manage to do so it would be a very impressive 16th consecutive season where they progressed from the group stages.
Arsenal have been guaranteed football after Christmas at the very least with Tuesday night’s result sealing third place which will allow them to drop into the Europa League.
Arsene Wenger has already intimated that his side would do everything they can to try to win that competition but to see the Gunners in the Europe’s secondary competition would do them a disservice as some of football they played at the Emirates against Zagreb was breathtaking.
Considering it was a Champions League night the atmosphere around the ground felt somewhat subdued compared to what it normally does.
But cheers could soon be heard reverberating around the ground as Ozil broke the deadlock finishing off a fine move inside the first half an hour.
Much of the goal was down to the clever run Oliver Giroud made which created the space for the German midfielder, but he had to show a degree of bravery to put his head on to the end of Sanchez’s delivery.
The second was not long in arriving thanks to a gift from Argentina defender Sigali. Instead of playing a pass into his team-mates it was intercepted by Monreal who drove on and teed-up Sanchez for the Chilean’s first goal in six games.
And the former Barcelona man wrapped up proceedings timing his run in behind the defence and coolly rounding the keeper before firing the ball into the roof of the net, ensuring it will go down to the final matchday in Greece.