Arsenal tops group but Wenger wary of draw

It meant that Arsenal topped their Champions League group for the first time since 2011, but despite that Wenger is still anticipating a tough last-16 fixture.

They failed to take two more chances in the first half, with Renato Steffen at least testing David Ospina with his strike from inside the area on 40 minutes, while Delgado headed Michael Lang's cross over the crossbar moments later.

He said: "There's less guilt when you finish first in the group because you feel you have done your job and you play the second leg of the first knockout tie at home". So we have achieved that.

At first glance you would think that Arsenal have an equal chance of facing any of six teams who came second in their group: Madrid, Bayern, Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica and Porto.

"We did the job in a convincing way, we were mobile and overall had a committed performance".

He completed his hat-trick just after the interval with a well-taken strike before Ozil squared for Iwobi to wrap up the win.

"I believe we have a good team dynamic and a very strong team spirit", he added ahead of this weekend's clash with Stoke.

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Flyers bearing the names of the fighters who slept in each room were plastered on doors, he added. In the garden, they found life-sized cardboard cutouts for target practice, he said.


Wenger opted to take a strong squad to Basle and chose to start with both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, when many anticipated they would be rested.

The Frenchman was also full of praise for Perez, starting just his fifth game since his summer move from Deportivo La Coruna.

Coral go 4-6 that Arsene Wenger's men fall at the next stage - a fate that has beset them in their last six European Cup campaigns and that price is easy to comprehend when looking at the list of possible next opponents. You have to be there.

Following the final whistle Ozil, who is renowned for his ability set up his teammates in front of goal, credited the Bulgarian champions with the Gunners' most important assist of the season.

Leicester, like Arsenal, face some potential sharks in the pool of teams they could face but they will hope the good luck they received in their group stage draw will continue here.

Basel's season in Europe is over, though they are 12 points clear in the Swiss league and likely to return next season.

  • Lawrence Cooper