UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal put in a dominant home display against Basel in the Champions League.
It took the Gunners just six minutes to open the scoring as Walcott headed in from Alexis Sanchez’s cutback.
The two Arsenal men linked up again as Englishman Walcott drilled low into the net to complete a swift team move.
Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik made good saves to deny Sanchez and Hector Bellerin, with Birkir Bjarnason coming close for the visitors.
Arsene Wenger’s side are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions since losing to Liverpool on the opening day of the season.
The sublime skill and movement of attacking trio Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Walcott, who already has five goals this season, was too much for Basel to handle and the margin of victory could have far more emphatic.
Santi Cazorla controlled the tempo of the game with 94 passes – more than any other player on the pitch – while centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi were largely untroubled.
Elsewhere on the night, Celtic claimed their first Champions League Group C point as Pep Guardiola’s perfect record in charge of Manchester City was ended with a draw in Glasgow.
The hosts led twice in the first half, Moussa Dembele diverting in Erik Sviatchenko’s header and Kieran Tierney forcing an own goal by Raheem Sterling.
Fernandinho’s strike brought City level first time and Sterling showed composure to net the visitors’ second.
Nolito equalised for the visitors again after Dembele had netted on the turn.
Barcelona’s win over Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany keeps the Spaniards top of the group with City two points behind in second. The top two meet in Barcelona on 19 October.
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic hold a one-point advantage over bottom side Gladbach going into their meeting in Glasgow.
The electricity was crackling around Celtic Park even before a ball had been kicked, the home crowd unleashing noise and colour and every ounce of passion in their bodies on the visitors. All of that emotion came thundering in again when Dembele stunned City.
Scott Sinclair’s free-kick, James Forrest’s first-time cross, Sviatchenko’s diving header and in off Dembele – already a Celtic cult hero at the tender age of 20. In attack, and defence, Dembele was terrific.
In those opening minutes City looked like a team that were not ready for Celtic’s intensity. They looked a bit shocked to be involved in a fight. Class will out, though. Fernandinho equalised after latching on to Aleksandar Kolarov’s shot and the epic was truly up and running.