Football

Hat-trick hero Perez gets praise from Wenger

GROUP A
FC BASEL ARSENAL
1 4
(Seydou Doumbia 78) (Lucas Perez 8, 16, 47, Alex Iwobi 53)

Arsene Wenger praised Lucas Perez's scent for goals after the forward's treble against Basel yesterday morning (Singapore time) saw Arsenal cruise to a 4-1 win over Swiss side Basel.

Alex Iwobi added the fourth for the Gunners, while Seydou Doumbia grabbed a late consolation for the hosts.

Arsenal's win, coupled with Paris St Germain's draw at home to Ludogorets, means Arsene Wenger's men advance to the Round of 16 as group winners for the first time since 2011-12.

Perez tapped home two goals within eight first-half minutes before completing his hat-trick with a well-taken effort just after the interval.

Iwobi then finished from close range.

This was only Perez's fifth start since his summer move from Deportivo La Coruna.

The 28-year-old Spaniard had scored only a League Cup brace over Nottingham Forest before yesterday morning, having also been out with an ankle injury.

But he showed what he is capable of against Basel, prompting Wenger to lavish praise.

"I think he took advantage of the fact that we created good chances, but he's a goalscorer. He scored over 20 goals in Spain and that's no coincidence," said Wenger.

"So overall, I think that he's shown that he has a good smell for a goal in the box.

"The first two looked easy goals, created by the team to make, what you call in England, tap-ins.

"But he (Lucas) is there. You have to be there. The third was a real striker's goal." - PA SPORT

Champions Leaguearsenal