Mesut Özil's stunning late winner helped Arsenal recover from conceding two early goals at Ludogorets to triumph 3-2 and reach the last 16 for the 17th season in succession.
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A stunning solo effort by Mesut Özil two minutes from time crowned a memorable Arsenal comeback, the Gunners recovering from two goals down to win at Ludogorets in Group A and reach the last 16 for the 17th season running.
The Bulgarian champions made a dream start, Jonathan Cafú converting a Wanderson free-kick in the 12th minute. Three minutes later, the Brazilian got away down the right and set up Claudiu Keșerü for a simple finish.
Arsenal reacted almost immediately, Özil centring for Granit Xhaka to reduce the arrears, before Aaron Ramsey marked his first UEFA Champions League appearance of the season with a cross Olivier Giroud headed in.
In the second half Wanderson twice might have restored the Ludogorets lead on the counterattack; they were made to pay late on. Mohamed Elneny released Özil, who lifted the ball over Svetoslav Dyakov and calmly slotted in despite the attentions of two defenders and goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
Key player: Mesut Özil (Arsenal)
Great players decide crucial games. When Arsenal ran out of ideas and a 2-2 draw seemed the likeliest outcome, the German international produced a piece of magic that ranks among the finest goals seen at the Natsionalen stadion Vasil Levski. Thanks to him, Arsenal now look forward to hosting Paris on matchday five with the upper hand in the race for first place in Group A.
Borjan boosts Ludogorets options
Ludogorets are really struggling at the back, as three clean sheets in their last 14 matches show. But there are positives too. One is the goalkeeper, with Borjan replacing the out-of-form Vladislav Stoyanov against Arsenal. The Canadian was making only his second UEFA Champions League outing and, though he might have done more for the second goal, his overall distribution was terrific in a performance that boosts morale for the crucial showdown with Basel next time out.
Arsenal's strength in depth
The big news for Arsenal and Arsène Wenger is the return of Ramsey. The Welsh international looked sharp after a spell on the sidelines, delivered a super cross for the second goal and gave Arsenal plenty of options. Giroud is also thriving as the attack's focal point, with his goals giving Wenger a nice selection headache. The season is long and he needs depth in his squad.
Stoyan Georgiev (@UEFAcomStoyanG)
In his pre-match conference, Wenger said the prime target was first place in the group. In the past Arsenal could easily have dropped points from such a tricky away fixture, but this time they nicked it at the death. Great teams are great because they win games without playing particularly well. In the second half Arsenal were short of inspiration yet they still managed to find a winner. They've paid the price for finishing second in their section in recent years; now the Gunners hold the aces before their decider against Paris in three weeks.