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Arsenal finished top of Champions League Group A thanks to a Lucas Perez hat-trick in Basel and Paris St-Germain's draw with Ludogorets Razgrad. PSG would have sealed top spot with victory, with anything less allowing in the Gunners, who took control through two Perez tap-ins.

 

Perez drove in his third from the edge of the box and Alex Iwobi rolled in a fourth before Seydou Doumbia cut through for a Basel consolation. Arsene Wenger's side failed to make it past the last 16 that year, and have fallen at the first knockout stage in each of the past six seasons. Aside from breaking their run of second-placed group finishes, the Gunners have also gone through a group stage unbeaten for the first time since they reached the final in 2005-06.

 

As a result, Arsenal know they will avoid Barcelona and Monaco, who have knocked them out in the past two seasons respectively, as well as Atletico Madrid and Napoli in Monday's draw. However, they could face Bayern Munich, their conquerors in 2013 and 2014, or one of Borussia Dortmund or Real Madrid.

 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I thought Ludugorets were a good side - they made a great result that helps us top the group, which was what we wanted. We did the job in a convincing way, we were mobile and overall had a committed performance. It is difficult to know but you feel a bit less guilty if you have a bad draw [after finishing] first rather than second - we have done our job and let's see what happens. I think Perez took advantage of the fact we created good chances - he is a goalscorer you know. He has shown tonight he has a good smell for the goal."

 

Arsenal will be seeded for Monday's last-16 draw, but before then host Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturdat. Basel go out of Europe, without even a place in the Europa League, but can console themselves with a 12-point lead in the Swiss top flight.

 

Photo Credit: 
90mins.com

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