Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal can approach the knockout phase of the Champions League free of guilt after seeing his side capitalise ruthlessly on Paris Saint-Germain’s slip to claim Group A with an emphatic victory on the banks of the Rhine.
FC Basel were swept aside with ease in Switzerland courtesy of Lucas Pérez’s first hat-trick since he moved to the Premier League side in the summer, as Wenger’s decision to field a strong lineup paid off handsomely.
The fine victory, combined with PSG’s wasteful draw at home to Ludogorets Razgrad at the Parc des Princes, ensured Arsenal topped their group for only the second time in seven seasons and means they will definitely avoid Barcelona, Napoli, Atlético Madrid and Monaco in the last 16.
Barcelona 4-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Lionel Messi scored his tenth UEFA Champions League goal of the season, just one short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s group-stage record. Arda Turan managed a hat-trick as section winners Barcelona finished in style, equalling the record of 20 goals in a group. Gladbach already knew they were heading for the UEFA Europa League.
Manchester City 1-1 Celtic
On-loan City player Patrick Roberts found the net against his parent club for eliminated Celtic before Kelechi Iheanacho equalised, all in the first eight minutes. City were previously confirmed as runners-up.
Bayern München 1-0 Atlético Madrid
It was too late for Bayern to wrest first place but Robert Lewandowski’s free-kick ensured the runners-up signed off with a win and denied table-topping Atleti their shot at a perfect sixth victory.
PSV Eindhoven 0-0 Rostov
Rostov got the point they needed to hold off PSV and finish third after their UEFA Champions League debut.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-2 Ludogorets Razgrad
Ludogorets made sure of third place and condemned Paris to second despite the home side scoring an added-time equaliser through Ángel Di María. Earlier Edinson Cavani’s overhead kick had cancelled out Virgil Misidjan’s opener before Wanderson restored the Bulgarian champions’ lead.
Basel 1-4 Arsenal
Lucas Pérez opened his UEFA Champions League account with a hat-trick in the first 47 minutes and Alex Iwobi added another as, courtesy of Paris’s slip, Arsenal ended their wait – dating back to 2011/12 – for a group first place. Basel finish fourth.
Dynamo Kyiv 6-0 Beşiktaş
Beşiktaş went to eliminated Dynamo knowing victory would take them through but instead they must settle for third position after a game where they trailed by four at half-time and which they ended with nine men. The win was Dynamo’s biggest in the UEFA Champions League.
Benfica 1-2 Napoli
With Beşiktaş losing, both these teams were assured of last-16 berths regardless of the result. Napoli, who only needed a draw for top spot, made certain as they prevailed through José Callejón’s strike on the hour and a second by substitute Dries Martens despite Raúl Jiménez’s consolation.