Lucas Pérez hat-trick gives Arsenal first place

A Lucas Pérez hat-trick gave Arsenal a 4-1 victory at Basel and their first UEFA Champions League group-stage pole position since 2011/12 as the Swiss side finished fourth.

Watch Lucas Pérez's brilliant hat-trick for Arsenal

Lucas Pérez's treble gave Arsenal victory at Basel and their only UEFA Champions League group first place since 2011/12 thanks to Paris Saint-Germain's surprise draw at home to Ludogorets Razgrad.

The opener came in the eighth minute as a fine passing move ended with Kieran Gibbs crossing for Lucas to poke in his first UEFA Champions League goal. Eight minutes later he had his second, as Mezut Özil found Gibbs, whose shot was parried by Tomáš Vaclík with Lucas in the right place to work the ball in.

While Basel had plenty of the play, Lucas had his hat-trick right at the start of the second half, his shot just eluding Vaclík's reach. Alex Iwobi added the fourth after a fine Özil cutback, and although Seydou Doumbia pulled one back, Basel knew defeat confirmed them in fourth spot.

Lucas Pérez makes it 1-0
Lucas Pérez makes it 1-0©Getty Images

Key player: Lucas Pérez (Arsenal)
His first two goals may have been little more than tap-ins, but his third was a high-value strike worthy of European club football's elite competition.

Arsenal find their mojo
Lucas was the sharp edge to an attacking machine that is smoothly steamrollering everything in its path right now. The movement from Arsenal's forward players was as difficult to follow as the passes between them were slick. It must make for ominous viewing for potential last-16 opponents.

Basel made to pay
The scoreline might not give an accurate sense of the balance of play, yet it does reflect a key difference between the sides: their ability to take chances. Basel missed theirs, Arsenal took virtually all of theirs. It was a lesson in ruthless efficiency Urs Fischer's men would do well to heed.

Reporter's view: Ian Holyman (@UEFAcomIanH)
Arsenal's two early goals lowered Basel's expectations of pulling off a surprise; the third early in the second half extinguished them, and meant what can be a passionate St. Jakob-Park crowd never entered the equation. Arsenal were devastating in bursts, and it was enough. Had Basel made the most of their good spells, notably at the end of the first half, life would have been more difficult though.

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