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Arsenal 2, Basel 0: Boom boom! Basel brushed aside by Arsenal and two-goal fox in the box Theo Walcott

Frank Dalleres
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Arsenal FC v FC Basel 1893 - UEFA Champions League
Theo Walcott's two goals took his tally to four from his last three matches (Source: Getty)

Arsenal 2, Basel 0

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tipped Theo Walcott for an England recall after the revitalised forward took his tally to four goals in three games in a comfortable victory over Basel.

Walcott headed the opener and swept home a second as the rampant Gunners earned their first Champions League win of the season to sit just behind Group A leaders Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference.

"The best recommendation is his performances. It's difficult to ignore him if you see him playing tonight but I will leave that to [caretaker England manager Gareth] Southgate now," said Wenger.

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Walcott credited a close-season chat with Wenger for reviving his fortunes, but the Frenchman credited his player, adding: "He assessed where he stands and rectified well what he had to add to his game. That is 95 per cent down to him."

Basel have started their domestic title defence by winning their first nine games and set out to ruffle Arsenal, pressing from the front and attempting to squeeze the play with a high defensive line.

It quickly backfired. The hosts kept the ball with ease and repeatedly sent Sanchez and Walcott haring in behind - and that combination conjured the opening goal after just seven minutes.

Sanchez, who came into the game with five goals in his last four games, turned provider when he darted clear, lofting an inviting cross towards the penalty spot for Walcott to crash a header past Tomas Vaclik.

Arsenal took a breather after that frantic opening but seemed able to carve Basel open at will, exemplified on 26 minutes when Walcott decided to up the tempo by playing a one-two with Sanchez 30 yards out.

The wall pass took out three defenders in the inside-right position and the Arsenal forward burst into the penalty area, composed himself and drilled a low shot across Vaclik and in off the far post.

It looked likely to open the floodgates, especially when one vintage Wenger-era move that culminated with Santi Cazorla teeing up Sanchez, only to be thwarted by Vaclik's paw, drew a standing ovation.

The Chilean, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi all had chances to score either side of the break but were denied or missed, as the Gunners gradually settled for cruising towards full-time and going level on points with PSG.

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