Sep 28, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Walcott (7', 26')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Suchy (21'), Elyounoussi (85')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-0 Basel - as it happened

Theo Walcott celebrates scoring during the Champions League game between Arsenal and Basel on September 28, 2016
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Basel in the Champions League.

Arsenal have continued their unbeaten start to this year's Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Basel.

The Gunners dominated the game from start to finish and they were two goals to the good before the half-hour mark as Theo Walcott continued his recent form in front of goal.

The Premier League side could not add to their lead, although Arsene Wenger will be delighted to have matched Paris Saint-Germain's result in Ludogorets Razgrad.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at the Emirates Stadium.

6.45pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Champions League between Arsenal and Basel.

6.49pmWe may only be into Matchday Two but let's celebrate Arsenal being in control of a Champions League group for a change. Yes, they may be level on points with all of the other teams in Group B but having secured a draw away at Paris Saint-Germain and with three home fixtures to come, they have to be considered as favourites to progress through to the last 16 as group winners. Of course, I could be getting ahead of myself with five fixtures still remaining but Arsene Wenger will not have a better opportunity to avoid another runners-up spot.

6.53pmHowever, it truth be told, they were extremely fortunate to leave Paris with a point. The Gunners were lackustre throughout the opening 75 minutes at the Parc des Princes but after PSG failed to add to their first-minute goal, Alexis Sanchez struck to earn his team a precious point. A defeat would have left Arsenal battling for second spot until the return game with PSG in North London in November but the stalemate has ensured that they can head into this game with a real opportunity to lead the way in the group, even if it be on goal difference.

6.54pmAnyway, that's enough rambling for now. Let's take a look at the team news coming from the changing room at the Emirates.

6.55pmARSENAL XI: Ospina; Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin; Xhaka, Cazorla; Iwobi, Ozil, Walcott; Sanchez

6.56pmARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Cech, Gibbs, Gabriel, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas Perez

6.57pmBASEL XI: Vaclik; Traore, Balanta, Xhaka, Suchy, Lang; Fransson, Zuffi, Bjarnason; Steffen, Doumbia

6.57pmBASEL SUBSTITUTES: Calla, Delgado, Elyounoussi, Gaber, Hoegh, Sporar, Vailati

7.01pmAs far as Arsenal are concerned, the main news centres around Granit Xhaka, who is given an opportunity to not only play against his former club but also against his brother Taulant. The Swiss international replaces Francois Coquelin who injured his knee against Chelsea at the weekend. David Opsina has also replaced Petr Cech in goal but aside from that, Arsenal are at full strength.

7.06pmAs well as Taulant Xhaka, the familiar - or not so familiar - name of Seydou Doumbia lines up in attack for Basel. He is currently on loan at the Swiss side after a hugely disappointing loan spell with Newcastle United last season where he barely played. If only, Newcastle fans, if only...

You may also recognise the name of Birkir Bjarnason, who played a significant part in Iceland's run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals in the summer. If you can't put a face to the name, he's the player who scored against both Portugal and France. He was also linked with a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers during the summer before remaining at his current club.

7.10pmWhat do we make of that, Arsenal fans? Some may be surprised that Lucas Perez must wait to make another start after his two-goal salvo against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup last week but it's difficult to criticise Wenger playing a near full-strength team in Europe because it does not happen all that often. With Olivier Giroud not on the bench due to suspension, I'd expect to see the Spaniard in the second half.

7.15pmTheo Walcott is looking pretty sharp in this picture - some may say a lot sharper than he was throughout the whole of last season. Jokes aside, the winger has made a terrific start to the season with three goals from six games while he also returned to the England fold for their opening World Cup qualifier. He missed out on the trip to PSG so there will inevitably be an eagerness to impress in Europe this evening.

7.18pmHEAD TO HEAD! I'd love to bring you all the info on previous games between the two teams but the fact is this is the first one. Basel have been regulars in the Champions League over the last 10 to 15 years so it is a bit of surprise that the clubs have not crossed paths before.

7.22pmTonight won't represent the first time that the Xhaka siblings have met on a football pitch. We had the rare occurrence of brother versus brother when Switzerland play Albania at Euro 2016 due to the part-nationality eligibility. It made for a fascinating occasion then and I have no doubt it will be no different tonight.

7.26pmWe have still got 20 minutes left until kickoff at the Emirates so why not take the time in looking at all of our other Champions League coverage here. As well as Sports Mole covering four games this evening, it was also a busy night 24 hours ago as the likes of Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur got wins on the board.

7.30pmYou may not be aware, you may not be bothered, but let me tell you about a rather strange situation that is occurring tonight.

Arsenal are having to wear their yellow away kit. Why I hear you ask? It's because Basel's home and away kits, in some way, clash with Arsenal's home kit and because the visitors do not have a third kit, it's the Premier League side who have been requested to change their kit. So there you go...

7.34pmI attempted to make a jibe at Arsenal's previous poor performances in the group stages at the start of our coverage but if you want to hear what Wenger has to to say (on the importance of finishing as group winners, not my jibe), then you can do so by clicking here.

7.39pmPREDICTION! Basel may have won nine successive games in the Swiss top flight but we cannot back against Arsenal here. They have been scoring for fun recently and it would come as a surprise if they do not win by a couple here. They were superb in the dismantling of Chelsea at the weekend and providing that Basel don't keep them out for over an hour, expect a comfortable evening and a routine win. The Gunners to win 3-0.

7.43pmThe two teams have made their way out onto the pitch at the Emirates Stadium. It feels a bit relaxed in North London but I'm sure that will change once the opening whistle is blown.

1 minWe are underway.

3 minIt's been a fast start from Arsenal but so far, they are still waiting to enter the Basel penalty area. Walcott and Sanchez just attempted to put together a sharp move down the right but it came to nothing.

5 minThe Gunners are displaying some blistering pace in attack and it has to be said, Basel are struggling to deal with it. The plan appears to be to get either Walcott or Sanchez behind the defence and on one occasion, it took a last-ditch tackle from Balanta to deny Walcott.

7 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Basel (Walcott)

7 minMoments after Monreal saw a shot well saved by Vaclik, Arsenal take a deserved lead. It's a collectors' item too with Walcott netting with his head after a delightful cross into the middle from Sanchez. This could be a long night for Basel.

11 minBasel have decided that it's their turn to enjoy a bit of possession but it's only a matter of time before Arsenal reclaim the ball. It's been seven games and 14 years since Basel lost to an English side in this competition but I suspect that run could be coming to an end this evening.

15 minThe visitors win a corner after Walcott deflects a Traore pass behind and the set piece reaches Zuchy. However, the defender can't direct his header on goal and it was lacking pace anyway.

17 minGOAL FLASH! Ludogorets have taken the lead against PSG! That would be a bonus for Arsenal should they be able to hang on for the next 75 minutes.

19 minBasel have certainly improved since conceding the goal but they are yet to force Ospina into a save. Walcott just made a timely block to a rasper of a shot from distance.

21 minBOOKING! Suchy is the first player into the referee's notebook after a cynical tug on Sanchez. The easiest decision that the officials will make all night.

25 minIt has been a decent start to the game but shots have been few and far between over the past 10 minutes. Arsenal are yet to capitalise on having Basel on the rack and the Swiss outfit are growing in confidence without posing much of a threat on goal.

26 minGOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Basel (Walcott)

26 minSorry, Basel fans...

Out of nothing, Arsenal double their advantage and it's the same combination as the first. Walcott plays a quick one-two with Sanchez before easing into the penalty area and driving the ball into the far corner via the post.

30 minWe are just half-an-hour through this match and you have to say that Arsenal are probably a goal away from making absolutely sure of the three points this evening. They are playing with a spring in their step now and Basel are chasing shadows.

33 minWhat a move. What. A. Move. However, it doesn't result in a goal. Walcott is sent sprinting down the right flank before finding Cazorla. The Spaniard has the chance to shoot but he instead plays a disguised pass to Sanchez who is waiting around 14 yards out but the Chilean takes one touch too many and it enables Vaclik the chance to partially block the ball. All too easy for Arsenal.

36 minCHANCES! Arsenal are really pushing for a third before the break. Walcott plays in Bellerin who is denied by the goalkeeper, before Ozil is played in before slicing the ball wide of the far post. The Gunners could be out of sight here.

38 minCHANCE! How is this game only 2-0?! A lofted ball over the top of the defence finds Sanchez but he finds Vaclik in fine form once again and he saves with his legs. The rebound falls to Walcott but the defender gets his head in the way to prevent a third.

41 minCHANCE! Some of this play is outrageous. It's "only" Basel but Arsenal are doing a job on them. On this occasion, the most exquisite of crosses from Sanchez found Ozil, but the German playmaker volleyed wide at the far post.

42 minGOAL FLASH! PSG have equalised against Ludogorets with Matuidi getting on the scoresheet.

45 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Basel

8.32pmThe half-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and it is one-way traffic in North London. Walcott and Sanchez have been the stars of the shows and it's a minor miracle that Basel have made the break having conceded just two goals.

46 minLet's get cracking with the second half, shall we? Basel get us back underway.

48 minArsenal have picked up where they left off but as of yet, they are yet to get a shot on goal. Vaclik has just had to dive to his left to claim a cross but there wasn't much danger of a third goal.

51 minYou can tell that Arsenal have been told in no uncertain terms that they must put this game to bed sooner rather than later. They are still trying to get both Walcott and Sanchez in behind the defence but the speedy pair have been adjudged offside by small margins.

55 minBasel look devoid of confidence when chasing the ball. You get the sense that they don't really feel like they are going to win it back. When Arsenal do make a mistake, they aren't doing enough with it to cause any real alarms in the Arsenal penalty area.

56 minGOAL FLASH! Cavani has completed the comeback for PSG. They now lead 2-1 against Ludogarets.

57 minCHANCE! He hasn't featured as prominently as some of his teammates but Iwobi comes close to a third goal after a rampaging run towards goal. He ends up bunting the ball towards the corner but it only misses by inches.

61 minWe are through an hour at the Emirates and we are still yet to see any movement on the Arsenal bench. There had been some suggestion that Wenger may want to rest one or two tonight if his side had established a strong-enough lead but maybe he is waiting for a third.

62 minSHOT! Much, much better from Basel as Bjarnason sends a first-time curling effort towards goal, only for Ospina to tip the ball over the crossbar. Arsenal need to be careful here...

64 minCHANCE! Another chance for Bjarnason! A corner is flicked on to the far post after Ospina fails to deal with the incoming ball but Bjarnason volleys over from close range. It was a difficult chance but one that could have brought a goal.

67 minArsenal don't look shaky here but Basel are definitely growing in confidence. A goal would change everything. Arsenal are still spraying the ball about but they are lacking the cutting edge they were showing in the first half.

68 minCHANCE! These aren't words that will be written very often - Sanchez misses a sitter! Well, sitter may be slightly harsh but he should have scored. Walcott got to the byline before finding his teammate, who somehow volleyed wide of the post from six yards.

70 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Two changes for Arsenal. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Elneny are being introduced into the fray with Iwobi and Walcott making way.

74 minThe two changes have injected a bit of energy into the Arsenal play but they still aren't creating a hatful of opportunities like in the first half. A speculative effort from Monreal is their sole effort over the past few minutes.

75 minSUBSTITUTION! A third and final change from Arsenal and it's Kieran Gibbs for Monreal. We won't be seeing Lucas Perez tonight.

80 minThis game is petering out a bit now. Basel are still showing some ambition but they aren't playing with the same intensity as when they twice went close just after the hour mark. I'd say Arsenal have got this sewn up.

82 minPSG are now 3-1 up against Ludogorets. Group A's big-hitters are going to be sitting in first and second place in around 10 minutes time.

86 minSanchez twists and turns his way towards the penalty area and he is successful in drawing the foul just before the 18-yard box. Cazorla takes responsibility for the free kick but it is straight at the wall and eventually cleared.

89 minArsenal really should be 3-0 ahead. After Oxlade-Chamberlain failed to make the most of an opportunity after taking the ball around the goalkeeper, the resulting corner ended with Sanchez being denied by Vaclik from close range.

90 minThere will be two minutes of added-on time.

90+2 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Basel

9.36pmThe full-time whistle goes at the Emirates and Arsenal have sealed their first win of this season's Champions League with a routine victory over Basel. The Gunners should have scored a hatful but in the end, two goals from Theo Walcott proved enough.

9.37pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match but we hope that you can stick around for all of the reports and reaction that will be appearing on the site in the next hour or so. Goodbye for now.

Arsene Wenger watches the cat do a whoopsie on his beret during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Arsenal on February 7, 2016
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