What an amazing game we have seen in Bulgarian capital tonight. Truly a Championship League match. Five goals, Arsenal’s coming back from the dead, lot of chances, excellent displays. It would not be undeserved if Ludogorets have won the match, or if it was a draw because both teams showed quality and desire to score one more goal than the opponent. Both Arsenal and Ludogorets who has no more chances to qualify for second round came into the match without any calculation.
11th minute of play, and shock. Xhaka handballed referee blows for the free kick.
It was from right side some thirty meters from Arsenal goal, Wanderson centered high ball, and in the crowd on the far post, Cafu managed to reach the ball first before Jenkinson and put it near Ospina, into the far bottom angle. 1:0 for Bulgarian champions. It is questionable whether Ospina should reach out for the ball, but that didn’t happen, so it doesn’t matter.
Two minutes later eruption in the National Stadium in Sofia. Vanderson sent a long cross ball to Cafu to the right some thirty meters, Brazilian attacker run into the box, centered a low ball and Keseru run into empty space on near post and put the ball into the net. Arsenal defenders were left wondering what have happened, while home players were in ecstasy.
Five minutes later Arsenal scored. The ball went on the left edge of the box toward goal kick line, but Ozil managed to get to her just before crossing the line, centered, Giroud couldn’t reach, but Xhaka waited in the middle of the box, putting the volley into the goalkeeper’s left bottom corner of the goal. Arsenal started to show signs of life.
After this, the tempo of the game stayed the same, both teams played open, but there was no goal scoring opportunity. Corners, shots, midfield passes but nothing that would change the result on the board.
Then in the 42nd minute, Aaron Ramsey received the ball on the right side of the field, he sends the long cross ball into the box, where Olivier Giroud puts the ball with the header, behind rushed Ludogorets goalkeeper Borjan. It was so uncareful from Ludogorets defenders to leave alone such striker.
Equalizer before the halftime. Both teams are starting from zero in the second half.
The first half was one of the most interesting in whole Champions League this season.
The second part of the game started in more calm pace. Most of the game action was in the middle of the pitch. Arsenal took the possession of the ball and maintained domination in that part, while Ludogorets relied on the speed of their forwards. Some half-chances were seen but nothing worth mentioning. Until Wanderson 65th minute, run into the box, receiving the cross ball from left, but Ospina saw true intention of home team players, and rushed out, just in time to deny Wanderson’s shot. He redeemed himself for the Ludogorets first goal.
After that, most of the chances were from the shots who were imprecise and went wide of goal.
And the three minutes before the end of regular time, Mohammed Elneny replaces Granit Xhaka. Then after just sixty seconds he sends trough ball, over Ludogorets defenders to Mesut Ozil.
And here the magic starts. Ozil, once the most talented player in the world, showed why he is still maybe the most creative player in today’s football.
He pushes the ball above rushed Borjan, like Ludogorets goalkeeper has two years, then runs toward goal, and decides two defenders making them slide on the grass like amateurs, so elegantly, and then in a calm manner, he puts the ball in the empty net. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mesut Ozil. When you see this goal it will be all clear to you.
Soon after the game ended, Arsenal fans started celebrating, while home team supporters applaud their team, and also visitors, especially Ozil.
This game ended Ludogoters dream of qualifying for the second round, but they have good chances to proceed in Europa League, they have a direct clash with their opponent Basel, at home, and if they perform like today, it will be quite possible for them to continue to play in European competitions this year.
As for the Arsenal, they are battling for the first place, with PSG, they are also going to play against them at home, which is an advantage of course. Both teams have 10 points each, so this game will probably decide who will win the group A.
Man of the match is without any doubts, Mesut Ozil, he had an assist and scored wonderful a goal, showing his potential on full display. German playmaker was excellent in the midfield where he orchestrated
Arsenal offense in the best possible way, connecting back line with the attackers and getting himself in the position to endanger Ludogorts goal.
This was a superb game, for us spectators, be sure to see Ozil’s goal, and to see all highlights from this match because you will enjoy.