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Champions League Round-Up: Arsenal Ruthless, Celtic’s Hopes Hang By A Thread

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his third and his team's sixth goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Arsenal FC and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad at the Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The halfway point has been reached in this year’s Champions League group stage, and for some teams that means they now a clearer idea of whether or not they will still be involved in the new year.

To Group A first, where Arsenal overcame some early Ludogorets pressure at the Emirates to run out comprehensive 6-0 winners. Each of the goals was special in their own right as Alexis Sánchez opened the scoring with a brilliant lob, Theo Walcott continued his fine run of form with a long-range finish, Alex Oxlade-Chamberalin took advantage of a mix-up in the away side’s box and Mesut Özil scored a hat-trick to ensure Arsene Wenger’s side stayed unbeated in their first three games for the first time in five years.
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his third and his team's sixth goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Arsenal FC and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad at the Emirates Stadium on October 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
In the group’s other game, Paris Saint-Germain rode out an early Basel storm to record a 3-0 win at the Parc des Princes. Ángel Di María, Lucas Moura and in-form Edinson Cavani were among the goals as PSG joined Arsenal on seven points from three games.

To Group B next, where Napoli could have become the first ever side to qualify after just three games had results gone their way across the two matches. However, a defensive horror show ensured that their place is now far from secure. They took on Besiktas at the San Paolo and were behind after 14 minutes when Adriano put the visitors ahead.

NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 19: Football players of Besiktas celebrate after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League group B soccer match between Napoli and Besiktas at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy on October 19, 2016.

Dries Mertens equalised on the half-hour mark but Napoli found themselves behind again when Vincent Aboubakar took advantage of more poor home defending. Lorenzo Insigne missed a penalty five minutes into the second half before Manolo Gabbiadini did level it up at 2-2 with twenty minutes remaining. However, there was still time for one last twist as Aboubakar netted his second to make it 3-2 to the visitors just four minutes from time.

In the group’s other game, an Eduardo Salvio and Franco Servi strike ten minutes into the second half gave Benfica a 2-0 win at Dynamo Kiev.

In Group C, Pep Guardiola’s latest return to Barcelona proved to be his most miserable yet. Lionel Mesi netted a hat-trick, Neymar scored a top-class goal but missed a penalty, Claudio Bravo and Jérémy Mathieu were both sent off and both defensive suffered defensive injuries in an eventful 4-0 win for Barca at the Camp Nou.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 19: Andre Hahn of Borussia Moenchengladbach celebrates after scoring his team's second goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and VfL Borussia Moenchengladbach at Celtic Park on October 19, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Celtic, meanwhile, are hanging by a thread in this group. Despite their stellar home record (and Borussia Monchengladbach’s brutal away form), the Beundesliga side were able to come away with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Lars Stindl and André Hahn and some horrific defending from Kolo Touré.

Finally to Group D, where Bayern Munich returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory at home to PSV. Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich gave Carlo Anceotti’s side an early 2-0 lead, and although Luciano Narsingh put PSV back in the tie just before half time, Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben ended the tie as a contest in the second.

(L-R) Gaston Pereiro of PSV, Siem de Jong of PSV, Thiago Alcantara of Bayern Munichduring the Champions League group D match between FC Bayern Munich and PSV on October 19, 2016 at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Elseahere, Atlético Madrid recorded a 1-0 win away at Rostov to maintain their 100$ start in the group. Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco scored the only goal of the game on the hour mark as Diego Simeone’s side all but guaranteed their place in the next round.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.