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Late stunner from Ozil completes remarkable Arsenal comeback in Bulgaria

The Gunners were two goals down after 15 minutes but managed to still claim the three points against Ludogorets and advance to the last 16.

Mesut Ozil celebrates his late winner.
Mesut Ozil celebrates his late winner.

ARSENAL FOUGHT BACK from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 away at Ludogorets courtesy of Mesut Ozil’s 87th-minute effort and secure a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League for a 17th successive season.

The Premier League side made heavy weather of securing victory in Sofia against opponents they had crushed 6-0 at the Emirates Stadium less than a fortnight ago, a game in which Ozil netted a hat-trick.

Still, the positive result sees them through to the last 16 from Group A and the late winner means Arsene Wenger’s men are top ahead of Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference, with the two teams going head-to-head at the Emirates on 23 November.

Jonathan Cafu put the hosts — who had scored 13 goals in three games since the heavy loss in the English capital — ahead before setting up his team’s second, scored by Claudiu Keseru.

Yet Ludogorets’ lead did not even survive until the half-time whistle, Arsenal scoring twice from crosses to get back on level terms by the break.

A low ball in from the left allowed Granit Xhaka to sweep home, while Aaron Ramsey’s drifting cross from the opposite flank allowed Olivier Giroud to mark his first start of the season with the equaliser.

The game looked set to end all square until Ozil grabbed a dramatic winner, the German keeping his cool when through on goal with three minutes left.

It was a thing of beauty as Mohamed Elneny’s pass put the German in the clear and, after lifting the ball over the advancing Milan Borjan, he coolly waited for two defenders to dive in before rolling the ball into an unguarded net.

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Elsewhere, last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid were one of four teams to clinch a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two group matches to spare tonight.

Atletico beat Russian side Rostov 2-1 in Spain with Antoine Griezmann scoring both goals as they sealed their progress from Group D along with five-time European champions Bayern Munich, who were 2-1 winners at PSV Eindhoven.

Group B remains wide open after Besiktas and Napoli played out a 1-1 draw to sit on seven points apiece after four games.

Benfica are just one point in arrears after clinching a 1-1 home win against Dynamo Kiev.

Elsewhere in Arsenal’s group, Thomas Meunier struck in the 90th minute to claim the three points for PSG, via a 2-1 win, at Basel.

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