Report: Arsenal 2-0 Napoli (inc goals)

208

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Monreal, Wilshere, Gnabry, Bendtner

Arsenal took three valuable points after a 2-0 win over Napoli in the Champions League this evening.

Arsene Wenger made two changes from the side that beat Swansea at the weekend with Mikel Arteta replacing Jack Wilshere in midfield while a fit again Tomas Rosicky came in for Serge Gnabry.

It meant Rosicky on the left, Ramsey on the right and Ozil playing behind Giroud with Arteta and Flamini anchoring, but as you’d expect it was a lot more fluid than that.

After a positive start, in which they forced a couple of early corners, Mesut Ozil put the Gunners ahead in the 8th minute.

It came from a brilliant Arsenal move. Giroud flicked it to Ramsey down the right hand side, the Welshman pulled the ball back from out wide to the edge of the box, and the German’s first time, side-footed finish beat Reina for his first Arsenal goal. 1-0 (GIF).

And in the 15th minuteOzil turned provider. Giroud laid it off to the German who took it to the byline, he waited for Giroud’s run and clipped it into his path for a close range finish. Lovely movement from the Frenchman but the pass was just perfect, he couldn’t miss. 2-0.

Napoli were punch drunk for a bit but worked their way back into the game. Insigne fired a 30 yard shot over the bar before Britos headed not too far wide from a corner.

Ramsey showed his attacking threat, having a close range shot blocked by Albiol before Callejon fired a free kick over the Arsenal bar when he really should have tested Wojciech Szczesny.

Ramsey and Ozil continued to combine to good effect although once in the final third Arsenal found Napoli more difficult to break down, and Benitez instructed his players to press us higher up the pitch, stretching the play but making it more difficult to find a breakthrough.

Still, with Ozil on the pitch and Ramsey in such form chances were created. Ozil played in the Welshman but his shot was blocked but an effort on target was saved by Reina before the referee’s whistle went for a foul by Flamini.

There was some concern over the Welshman as he seemed to pick up a knock with Jack Wilshere sent out to warm up but the half ended with the Gunners keeping their two goal lead and thoroughly deserving it after a fantastic half of football.

There were no half-time changes with Ramsey fit to continue and it was more of the same as Giroud created an early chance for Tomas Rosicky whose run was just a touch off, preventing a close range finish.

The Italians had a bit more of the ball in the second period, with Inler and Callejon shooting over the bar while Arsenal were a bit sloppy in possession. Tomas Rosicky in particular found his return to the side a bit more difficult than he might have liked.

The Czech was replaced in the 63rd minute by Jack Wilshere as the teams went through the second half motions. Although Napoli made life more difficult for Arsenal, there was no need for the home side to pres the issue with their two goal lead.

Benitez’s side seemed to be having a competition to see who could shoot the furthest over the bar with every effort flying into the stands. Insigne did get one on target in the 72nd minute but Szczesny dealt with it easily.

At the other end Reina made a great point blank save from Laurent Koscielny after Ozil crossed from Arsenal’s right as the game wound down. Napoli had little to offer from an attacking point of view while Arsenal were content to hang onto the lead they’d built in the first half.

Nacho Monreal came on for Aaron Ramsey in the 88th minute as Arsene Wenger sought to see the game out. As it came to a close there were Ole’s from the crowd as the Gunners passed it around, and in the end they took three very important points and sent another message about the strength of this team right now.

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WizardOfOzil

We killed the game 2nd half. Most impressive.

Jin

So fast!

S__i__r__B__a__l__l__s

Comfortable win, but what were Napoli playing at ?

Napoli hardly broke sweat throughout the entire game, they didn’t try at all – its as if Benitez and the Napoli players had a big bet on the game. Even the Napoli fans must of had a few quid on, as they were very happy.

Temi

Can we all please ignore this foolish FOOL?

CB

Or can he be blocked please?

neutral

Good job ignoring him, all of you.

anyway, the comment about the fans is pretty funny, they did seem to enjoy getting completely outplayed.

Evil

@neutral
They simply kept supporting their team,that isall.

WizardOfOzil

They were rendereded impotent by our unstoppable brilliance, Sir Balls. Their supporters appreciated the fact that were witnessing true greatness in it’s origins which is why they happily partied on. What a show, what a club we are.

Stoneheads

can’t remember last time i saw Fatgooner in here…

TightArse

what a tool

Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

I actually find his comment cuntishly funny.

Gus

haha sir balls is running out of things to say! Is that the best you can do? you’re the worst troll I’ve ever seen. Poor effort

Rufusstan

In the first half, there was a shot of Benitez on about 30 mins with his note pad out for the half time team talk.

1). Get ball

2). keep ball for more than 30 seconds.

We just didn’t give Napoli a look in in the first half, and later on they rarely got any kind of chance.

If the opposition are taking potshots from outside the box because thats all they can do, you know the game is won.

Silent X

To be fair, Napoli do love themselves a potshot from range. Insigne, Hamsik, Inler and Behrami will have a go if its there. I couldn’t watch, cause life, but with Napoli in particular, those shots will happen regardless. If we made them do it more though, then go us!

Rufusstan

I can see that, but since they could only get one of them on target in 90 minutes it seems pretty pointless.

Everything else they threw into the box is the stuff Kos, Per and Szczesny happily soak up all evening.

We just held them at arms length and they had no idea what to do.

They're building a Bendtner

must *have*

D

Balls, keep up the streak of nonsense comments son. You’re a good luck charm!

Wengers Mom

We continue to feed this troll.

eternalflamini

aaaarrrrrrgggg why do I always “click here to see”?

DL Gooner

Ha, i know the feeling.

Aamir

What a pitiful existence.

Mos

He’s Pedro of Le Grove

AP

So i heard about this pedro guy and went and checked his last 2-3 match reports…that guy is a moron, he even doesnt check his fact before typing things out. if one has so many readers, least one can do is be right about the facts.

Nigerian

If this is the group of death, then we must be the ones doing the killing!

jack jack jack

The first 15 minutes or so was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from an Arsenal team. Absolutely sublime. Napoli couldn’t get anywhere near us.

A perfect game from the boys, played the game out beautifully in the second half. Putting the Death in the Group of Death and I’m loving it.

bard

Amazing and professional performance last night, but we’ve got Dortmund back-to-back still to come. Still a very tough group, but looks like we’re good for the fight.

Bolarinwa Mayowa

Pandev took the place of hig in cozzas back pocket today. I’m in love with team.

Remember the invincibles because we aren't good anymore

No wingers? No problem. Just bench the future of English football jack wilshere and play the other 3 world class midfielders ahead of flamini and arteta. Fucking excellent. Just you see what he’ll do when we have cazorla back.
There only one Arsene Wenger

OMG, just to think of it.

Ramsey Arteta

Walcott Özil Cazorla

Na-na-na-Giroud

And the bench!

journeyman

I get the feeling walcott might become a super sub again unless he bucks up and starts improving his all round play (running off the ball, defending, etc)… Wenger craves balance, so either Ramsey,or Giroud will have to be sacrificed if Walcott has to play (not happening unless one of them is injured). Cazorla is the playmaker, Arteta to keep the transitions fluid and Flamini is there just to FUCK SHIT UP in front of the back four. Plus Wilshere and the OX are players who regularly put in a shift and i rate them higher than Walcott, all £100,000-a-week… Read more »

bard

All things considered though, Walcott’s pace is too hard to ignore. Ozil was one of many to put him through against Sunderland and I bet he’s a passing option the midfield will always love to have.

FeoWalcott

Hamsik looked like a peacock

At least we kept his feathers down

Wengers spare change

Did he play tonight?

I dream Arsenal

Giroud is the MOTM

Buttersacker

Honestly thought Sagna had the game of his life, always asking for the ball, breaking up the line with a few 1-2’s. Give the man a new contract!

DöubleDöubleDöuble

Easiest “Group of Death” ever.

Wengers spare change

If this is the group of death,the rest will be easy. well done boys.

Why is my name required

Keep it up. 9 consecutive victories in all competitions. Keep it up boys you’ve got my support

AFCEdwards

10*

Bonjour

Surprised how many times Napoli gave the ball away to us. Maybe that’s just an indication of how intelligent our players’ positioning and tackling are. Napoli was just limited to wild shots outside the box. This could have been 4 or 5 for us, but 2 clinical finishes is enough. Very well done!!!!

P.S. Don’t reply to SirBalls and he will go away…

goonertom

good point, iv noticed we are so much better at interceptions now. with ramsey, flamini, and arteta we have three players who combined are great at stifling the play in midfield when the opposition if pressing us. we look far more confident sitting off a player and timing a challenge and most importantly, then offloading it into the right areas.

defensive fragitiy is like a parasite that sits in your toilet, and flamini is the toilet duck.

yes… im high

Bunburyist

I think we’re the death in this group.

Bould's Eyeliner

It’s easy when we’re the reason its the group of death. Still lets not chalk off Dortmund so quickly.. he (klopp) even had a ‘feeling’ we would be facing each other…

Bishop

We are definitely the executioners here, but our strongest challenge will be Dortmund and a display half as decent as this and I am ordering for my replica copy of the champions league trophy right away

jack jack jack

Not really. The rest of the teams have to play against us.

TomJ

Sorry but this group is not over by a long shot. Great to have opened with 6 from 6 but we need points from the double Dortmund header

nop

yep, still need 2 wins from 4 to secure qualification, and preferably more to get top spot.

Xxxrob

That first half was the best I have seen us play in years. We made them look like absolute mugs.
Giroud was immense, the man just doesn’t lose aerial battles, great linkup play, great goal.
Ramsey if he isn’t scoring is assisting, tackling, turning he’s absolutely LANS this year.
Ozil… Nuff said eat the arse Madrid you fucked up!
Welcome back to rosicky and 90 minutes from our handsome spaniard. Couldn’t be happier with this performance 🙂
One critique might be we had a sub unused and could have rested someone but meh
Fuckin buzzing!!!

Bonjour

Surprised how many times Napoli gave the ball away to us. Maybe that’s just an indication of how intelligent our players’ positioning and tackling are. Napoli was just limited to wild shots outside the box. This could have been 4 or 5 for us, but 2 clinical finishes is enough. Very well done!!!!

P.S. Why is my comment above awaiting moderation? I’m not a fucking spud troll.

jack jack jack

I don’t think the moderation thing is anything personal, think it’s just a site hiccup. Happened to me yesterday too.

And if Blogs really was moderating comments I don’t think Balls would get past “hello I’m a cunt”.

Rufusstan

Sometimes just after the game the site slows down and stuff like that happens.

Think so many people are hitting it at once, it cannot cope, and has to go for a lie down.

mik

spot on.
and flamini-arteta axis, how fucking good were they?
seems like they (and also ramsey-özil) have played together all their life.
fucking great performance!

Wengers spare change

When flamini slid in with a wonderful sliding tackle,i thought well done son

deano

Wonderful tackle yet penalised bloody disgrace

AP

Check out the red card handed in the barca game…now that is a disgrace…
oh no, please dont touch my sissy barca wankers….

Jagger

The one small disappointment I have is that we didn’t shoot enough, trying to find a person who wasn’t there when reaching the box. If Gibbs or Wilshere had a right foot then we could have been 3 or 4 nil up. Also very surprised at lack of Napoli’s intensity. I would have thought they would be fired up more.

Sweaty Testicles/Scrotum

Intensity can only take you so far. At least in the first half, the more they pressed us, the more we passed rings around them.

The two goals and dominant possession also pulled the rug out from beneath them.

Rufusstan

We definitely should have had a couple more.

As far as Napoli are concerned, I just think we sandbagged them, came out so hard, that by the time they got into gear they were already 2-0 down.

Remember the invincibles because we aren't good anymore

Well played to arteta and rosicky coming back from injury

Caliban

That GIF doesn’t give the Ozil goal justice. It was a great team goal with some lovely moves before that.

Brilliant win. Talk about momentum building!

Temi

Ozil…rolls off your tongue like fine wine…Kind of like Flamini- he gets better with age!

Aaron Ramsey

SCINTILLATING

Gabalot

What a great win! Giroud super dreamy!

Wesley Sniper

Someone give me Michael Owen’s phone number, I need to holla at that cunt.

2013-2014 = 2003-2004

0800-AIMA-TWAT

Nik

Oh Yes

A Yank

Öh yes.

Fixed that for you.

Geezer

Thanks for the assistance. 😉

Larry

Wengerball is back!!

neutral

Yes! I have not seen Arsenal pay this well in several years. Let’s hope they keep it up. We’ll have a better idea how things stand come January. For now I’ll keep enjoying it.

Shishir

And how!

PicoBello

that’s what i just noticed, it seriously starts to look like the invincibles shape a little.

Juice

Im not used to this positive shit =) Dont know how to react god damn =) ..

NCGunner

YES!!!!!

Temi

Great goal by Giroud as well. Awesome player, handsome bloke!

Cheesus

He was fantastic to watch in more than one aspect

TheAWenger

excellent composure in the second half to see out the game. The HFB’s hold up play was incredible.

Bunburyist

Spot on. He’s been incredible for us this season, and it’s largely down to his improvement in hold-up play, one of the highlights of which was when he held up the ball and flicked it on leading up to our first. Class play, and pleased he got the goal he deserved a bit later.

jack jack jack

He’s unbelievably strong. These big centre halves are always all over him but if he decides he’s holding it up, he’s bloody well holding it up. The guy is a fucking monster.

HBK

We are at the top of every table baby!

Mozilla

This just may be our season to win some silverware.. COYG !!

arsesicky

stop jinxing it!!!!!!

jack jack jack

Let’s not start talking about that yet, the meedja would love to build us up and knock us down too much.

But my god do we look strong right now.

Good Omens

So very impressed, they didn’t know what hit them in the opening 20 minutes, their players literally looked petrified. Amazing stuff, great result, doffs hat to the lads. All aboard the smile-train, the journey continues.

Comedian

Ahhh just lovely.

Rad Carrot

Red London rising, lads. We’re on the brink of something special if we keep this up.

Great performance from everyone, especially the unsung heroes like Flam and Gibbo. Brilliant.

Aaron Ramsey

Glad i helped us get 3 points. Need to get in the shower now. BRB

DaMobot

And they are Arsenal !!!!!

charles

Nacho Monreal: Arsenal’s victory cigar!

Essexpieboy

I also thought Wilshere did very well when he came on. Good to see him hopefully recovering his form and pace. All round excellent performance from the team. Really nice to see them working so hard for each other all over the park. This is a team I find so easy to support.

Amusa

What a victöry!!
Cöme ön Arsenal!!!!!

Der Springer

It has been quite a while since being a Gunner has been this much fun, Woohoo!!! What a great game. What a great season.

Jb

Fuck yeah!!!!

GoonerGirl

Amazing game…freaking orgasmic :’) our boys are the best.

Gus

Blogs, how do you do the liveblog, and then do a match report which is available seconds after the final whistle? I cannot comprehend it!

CB

Nothing much happened in the 2nd half?

Rad Carrot

I’d imagine he – or a colleague – types up parts of the match report as he goes, certainly a lot at half time. It’s still an impressive feat.

arsesicky

if you follow arseblog on twitter, you’ll notice several sentances in the write-up that are virtually identical to his tweets (apologies for using that word, even though I’m on twitter I can’t stand the phrases you have to use with it). Methinks he has a relatively set-in-stone template for the write ups, and just populates it with the relevant information as the game goes on.

Rad Carrot

What happens if the game suddenly turns on its head in the final few minutes? How do you change the whole tone?

jack jack jack

I’ve come to the conclusion that Blogs can see into the future. Not too far, something like a 15 minute delay like they use when they broadcast big events live. It’s the only possible explanation.

xxxrob

I’d be using that gift on the horses or the dogs if I had it haha

arsepedant

I’d just like him to send me an e-mail when there’s 14 minutes left in each match.

Unyoke the ox

It felt like watching arsenal in the early 2000’s! Killed the game early and then tired them out with intricate passing.

Good times to be a gooner

LANS

We just made one of the best teams in Italy look like a bunch of twats.
Stop for a second and enjoy.

Rufusstan

Thats right, there was one of those Italian sides out there, you know, nick a lead and shut down the game types. The bunch in Red and White right? 🙂

arsepedant

Nah, not really. We don’t hope for an opposition own goal on the opening kick-off and then park the bus for 89-1/2 minutes.

Mate Kiddleton

As impressed as I was about the first half, the way we stayed composed and organised throughout the second half was even more impressive. Having both Flamini and Arteta on was a big part of that imo

The Ghost of Peter Storey

Fair point Kate. Hope the baby isn’t keeping you awake all night.

Kola

Mate actually. The names of guys on this forum are fucking awesome.
Everything I look at is fucking awesome tonight!
Thanks, gunners…
COYFG!!!

gooner odst

Ramsey + Özil = mind fucked, those 2 played scintillating stuff in the first half with Ramsey playing as a wide center. Best linkup play you will see. And we killed off the game in the 2nd half like seasoned champions who just come back from dominating the league. And we still have Cazorla, Podolski, Ox to come back, Jeebus have mercy.

CB

And Walcott!

And Diaby!!!

Gerald

Folks said this would be the great first test of Arsenal. Well. That first half was almost erotic, and the second militaristic.

So I think we can say The Arsenal’s looking good for the money? Or must we be tested harder? Like do we have to beat eleven alien-cloned green Messis before we start believing?

arsesicky

that’ll be easy, long balls to giroud all day and we win by scoring nothing but headers

Jomo

Group of death? Marseille and Napoli already ruthlessly murdered. Dortmund to be slaughtered next. Arsenal have that killer instinct

The secönd cöming

There’s only one Mesut Özil,
There’s only one Mesut Özil,
And we’re walking along,
Singing a song,
Walking in an Özil wonderland.

(Don’t worry, God approves.)

Die Hard Gunner

We should good mental strength and played with purpose, this team is a winning team and I can’t wait for us to lift that trophy that will signal the rain of trophies. I am over the moon now. Thank you again, Arsenal.

50 Shades of Gandalf the Grey

What a performance, let’s hope we can keep this up against Dortmund. That will be exciting. Ramsey again, absolute monster, and Ozil coming to full match fitness, magnificent. Up the Arse!!

neutral

So hard to choose but I would be comfortable with this line up against Dortmund

Szcz
Sagna-Mert-Kos-Gibbs
Arteta
Ramsey-Ozil
Walcott-Giroud-Cazorla

Our midfield depth is scary. (Wilshere, Rosicky, Flamini)

deano

Lets get past that dreaded international break before thinking about line ups for Dortmund match.

Edu's fake passport

Don’t think Flamini can be benched at the minute, he gives us the dogged harassing that none of our other midfielders can.

Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

Bring a table from hell, we want to top it!

Zelalem#58

We’re top of the group, we’re top of the group…
What a performance by the Arsenal, let’s keep on rolling!

Bishop

On days like this, when I can’t stop these jolly tears rolling down my cheek, I begin to understand why 60,000 people flood into the emirates every match day even after 8 years without a trophy, days like the 2011 display against Barca, and tonight’s display make loving the Arsenal worth it. I FUCKING love this Arsenal! .

shitbird

That first goal reminded me of Arshavin’s against Barca, but the main difference was it didn’t come out of the blue… As good as the goals were, Arsenal dominated that whole match from start to finish. Looking forward to the two games against Dortmund!

Dazzler

Said to the wife I want Ozil on the back of my shirts for Christmas.
“Home and away?”
“No love, I mean my work shirts…”

JB

Hearing Girouds post game interview as we speak, you handsome french bloke!:) what a win, and what an overall professional perfomance by the lads. With Mesuts first goal in the red and white and Ramsey continuing his stunning form. COYG!

Erwandy

I believe we ave seen the strongest Arsenal side tonight. The strength lies in our ability to render Napoli ineffective – that is the true power behind it. Napoli is no shitty team, they bossed the Serie A and beat Dortmund. But who would have thought the Gunners made it look so easy killing the game in the first half. Napoli were reduced to long range attempts because our defending were literally rock solid. The Flamini-Arteta effect shored up the back four really well. I am super impressed with the growing fluidity between Giroud, Ozil & Ramsey. And oh yes,… Read more »

another yank

Giroud was a monster today. I wonder how Higuain felt watching that demolition job. Best the team have looked in a long time, that midfield with that handsome. Frenchman leading the line…. (shivers)

Wengers spare change

I would say higuain was thinking,hmm I think I made a huge mistake.

shitbird

Or “That Perez is such a cunt.” I think Hig wanted to come, but it didn’t happen. Tant pis.

But to be honest if RM was only going to sell us one player this summer and the choice were between Umlaut and Argentine, I know which one I would have taken.

webbeldez

What a wonderful time to be a gooner. One thing I can;t understand is why the press seem to relentlessly continue to belittle and criticise our team due to it’s apparent lack of options and quality less squad. Here is an example ( I could post several ) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10340367/Michael-Owen-Arsenal-do-not-look-top-four-side.html WHAT THE TITTYFUCKINGCHRIST ARE THESE PEOPLE WATCHING? Seriously, I hope we do win something this season, and I hope we win it with the beautiful football we play, because if we keep this up, we are going to deserve it just for giving the beautiful game a makeover!! BRILLIANT ARSENAL!! F’IN… Read more »

Rufusstan

If you start with the premise that Michael Owen is a know-nothing Fuckwit, the rest makes perfect sense.

Generally the media wrote us off (so they could simply re-use last years articles and not actually have to do any work.) Now they are saying nothing, effectively airbrushing us out.

When we win something, the plaudit filled articles will come, where the media will show how they predicted it all along.

Ilari

Is it normal to be totally in love with a football team?

Greatest psychiatrist in the world

Yes

Joey Sixpack

Yes, it is.

eternalflamini

I reckon the reason why they had so many shots from distance was because of our solid defending, they couldn’t get through. We hardly ever let them get a cross in either, Gibbs, Sagna and Flamini were superb in cutting them out. The exhilarating passing the first half was great – but I enjoyed the calm defending in the second half almost as much!

Hutch

Just saw HFB’s post match interview. Admittedly never heard him speak English before. Bet there were a few moist underwear around the country after listening to him.

Rozza's twin

Flamini in the car park checks pockets for his car keys only to find Pandev, Insigne and Callejon in there.

Bishop

Heard Sczeszny didn’t take a shower after the match

Ahmabu

Haha, Hamsik too!

Die Hard Gunner

*showed