Arsenal draw Napoli in Europa League quarter-finals

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Arsenal will face Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Europa League as we continue our quest to secure European silverware for the first time since 1994.

We’ve only ever faced the Italian side twice before in European competition, winning 2-0 at home and losing 2-0 away in the group stages of the 2013/14 Champions League.

The draw is arguably the hardest we could have had, made all the more so because the second leg will be played away from home.

If we do beat Napoli, we’ll face either Villarreal or Valencia (Santi or Coquelin/Gabriel) for a place in the final in Baku. And that could involve a clash with Olivier Giroud’s Chelsea who are on the other side of the draw. A penny for Petr Cech’s thoughts on that.

Game on.

Full draw

Napoli vs Arsenal
Villarreal vs Valencia
Benfica vs Frankfurt
Slavia Prague vs Chelsea

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Patrik Ljungberg
Patrik Ljungberg

Bring them on.

Runcorn Gooner
Runcorn Gooner

Oooospina!!!!!

Abhi
Abhi

Tough tie.. But we would likely have had to beat Napoli and/or Chelsea in the tournament at some point.. If we beat them, great, it’s one of the favorites knocked out, and unless we badly fuck up, we have a date for the final… If we lose, at least it leaves no more ambiguity of how wer going to get champions league next year: only top four finish will do, and wel have no distractions of other tournaments to achieve it.

djourou's nutmeg
djourou's nutmeg

we just lost against bate borisov (???) and rennes in this cup, and there’s still people like you who not only start fantasizing about beating napoli but also think a tie against villarreal/valencia would be easy. i find it unbelievable that i have to read this kind of comment in every article.

Naked cygan
Naked cygan

Lol

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

First impression was “Fuck!”. Second impression was “fuck!”….then “ahh! Well!”
As one wise man once said “it is what it is.” We will just have to deal with it is all. I think Pep Guardiola said they were one of the toughest team man city faced last year. And he wasn’t far from the truth. Man City got played off the park first 45 mins in Napoli…i was watching it. They are the only team i wanted to avoid. We have the measure of Chelsea with Sarri in charge.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

You make it sound like Napoli is Pep’s Barcelona

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

I agree with djourou. We’re not the favorites in this ties at all.
Anyone who thinks otherwise must’ve not been paying attention to our away results. Emery needs more time and better players to get us to be as competitive away as we are at home.

Abhi
Abhi

I said IF we beat them. We could lose yes, but we also CAN win. A loss is not as assured result as you make it out to be. For fucks sake what is the point of supporting your club if you don’t have even a shred of optimism? IF we don’t get battered away, we can win.

djourou's nutmeg
djourou's nutmeg

so you saying that if we don’t lose we could win… alright jamie carragher thank you very much have a good one

TommyGun
TommyGun

Not the best tie but I think we will beat them!

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

Challenging, but we’ve beaten them before. COYG!

TommyGun
TommyGun

Chelsea have an easy run to the final where we will tear them a new one.

Jack
Jack

I don’t really follow the Italian league – can someone please tell me why Napoli are favourites in the competition?

Thierry bergkamp
Thierry bergkamp

Napoli is second in Serie A and has consistently gone on to Champions League for the past couple of seasons.

Although they lost Jorginho over the summer and Hamsik in January, they still have a fluid attack through Zielinski and Milik. Let’s not forget the diminutive Insigne as well.

This is turning up to be quite an uphill challenge for Gooners, but still doable.

Coyg

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

There’s only one Thierry Bergkamp!!
For a second you had me wondering when I posted this comment

IGtheshy
IGtheshy

Because they have Ospina

atom
atom

Good squad + Ancelloti who has won the CL multiple times = experience in Europe. Italian league is much slower /more technical game = players don’t get nearly as physically drained as they do in the PL. Add in there’s a lot more disparity between top and bottom teams in Italy = not every game is a battle like in the PL. Other leagues also will typically do stuff like Rennes had where they will move around games to give their team a full week of rest before games.

coyg.2711
coyg.2711

Ah well if we beat them we go forward with more momentum. Home game first will be tricky.

David
David

If he’s so good, how come he didn’t qualify from the group stage of the UCL?

atom
atom

The guy has won the CL 3x with 2 different clubs & league titles in Italy, Germany, France & England. Their CL group included PSG & Liverpool, both of whom were considered plausible winners of the competition & they only went out on the last day. Napoli are beatable but that’s a ridiculous way to look at things.

Pat Rice and Beans
Pat Rice and Beans

They have a good team with good individuals (eg. Koulibaly, Allan, Insigne and Mertens) and a f*cking good coach in Ancelotti.
Last season they amassed a Serie A-high 91 points and still managed to finish in 2nd due the obscene dominance of Juventus in Italy.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Last season Sarri was their manager as well, but that’s by the by. They only just missed out on going through in the CL but didn’t quite have enough against Liverpool at Anfield.

Miguel
Miguel

Arsenal “didn’t have enough” against Liverpool at Anfield either if I recall.

Mootilated
Mootilated

yeah, good thing Juventus got Ronaldo. Nice to see the league giving them a chance to win something. It’s not like they’ve won it for almost 8 seasons straight.

What a joke the Serie A has become. Used to be as enjoyable as the Premier League.

Girouds' Beard
Girouds' Beard

Well, they are organized, tactically flexible, have good players and are physically quite good. Ancelotti is their manager. They’ve lost only their last game of the group stages against Liverpool and also had PSG in the group.
I’d rather have us play Chelsea than them – then again, with our form as of late, we should be able to beat them twice.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Not Arsenal, not arsenal, not arsenal..pls Chelsea…Fuck!
And then the Chav wankers mean we play away 2nd leg. Double fuck
That was the worst possible draw
Still excited by our chances tho..fuck it, lets do this. COYG

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

More frustrated that we’ll play the 2nd leg away than actually drawing Napoli…

Jalex
Jalex

More time to grab one of those sweet away goals though.

Jalex
Jalex

(if extra time happens of course)

David C
David C

With away goals rule and potential of extra time I think it’s an advantage to play away from home in game 2.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Frankfurt would be my worst possible draw. For me they are favourites with Chelsea.

GunneRon

On the bright side, I’m happy we drew them this early in the knockout phase. As beating them would mean we eliminate our biggest threat to winning the cup . Losing to them would, on the other hand, allow us to solely focus on the race for top 4. It’s a win-win situation ! But I’m confident we will go through and give Petr Cech a fairytale ending against the Chavs in the final !

ricky rick
ricky rick

Yes! Love the positive spin. Also this is a Champions League tie which is what we want right? High quality games, can’t gift them a few goals. Hope we stay fit in April, looks like between Everton (A), Napoli (H), Watford (A), Napoli (A), Crystal P (H), we’ll have 5 games in 15 days.

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Absolutely go along with this. Losing to Napoli early is not a crime and means we can focus on fighting Sp*rs out of 3rd. Beating them early, gives us massive confidence and means we can bounce Sp*rs out of 3rd.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Shit draw! Fuck you, Van Hooijdonk!!

goongot
goongot

Would be fun…I still remember that absolutely tasty ozil debut season goal against them at emirates 😉 .

Nketibag
Nketibag

Still his best moment in the shirt..

Vince
Vince

I think his best moment in an Arsenal shirt has to be THAT goal against Ludogorets Razgrad away in the CL 🙂

Dave
Dave

Balls, but at least they’re serial bottlers, and this year we’re finding ourselves beating or playing good football against top teams, so I give us good chances to go thru this one. If we beat them, is one strong opponent less left.

ForeignGooner
ForeignGooner

A bit unfair to call them bottlers when they have much lesser resources compared to Juventus. PSG are the bottlers.

Dave
Dave

Thing is, they aren’t bottlers on Serie A, but they quite often been tagged as favorites on some European clashes just to bottle it, I mean, they almost bottled it yesterday against Dynamo

Vince
Vince

What are you on Dave? They played Red Bull Salzburg, and Napoli are not bottlers. They beat Liverpool AND PSG needed a last gasp equalizer from Di Maria in Paris to salvage a point this season. In their win over Liverpool, they limited the Pools to zero (0) shots on target for the entire 90 mins with Salah, Mane AND Firmino in the lineup. This is a dangerous team and we need to respect them 110% for us to go through

Dave
Dave

Right, messed the teams up, my bad.

And I agree with you, in not moment did I said they’re a bad team, au contraire I believe they’re one of (if no the) hardest team we could face, but they do have a tendency to slip up during final instances of Europe competitions (last EL against Leipzig, getting out of 17/18 UCL, losing the second place to Shaktar, hell I remember they losing a semi against dnipro.. etc). Don’t take me wrong, they’re a very good team, but they tend to lose in final instances. Will I be surprised if they go thru? Not at all, they’re a very good team, but we need to respect them not by being afraid but instead by playing them at the highest level knowing this is a clash we can win

Abhi
Abhi

Spurs

Dave
Dave

Villarreal v Valencia winner for our semi final, not Benfica/Frankfurt

Barnacle Bob
Barnacle Bob

we’re the underdogs then.
hopefully the attitude will be better from the first whistle instead of us walking out there thinking the game is won even before we’ve kicked a ball

conradws
conradws

Not as bad as it seems. If we beat them, then we are essentially knocking out the one of the favorites early and then Semi Final (Villareal/Valencia) might be easier than the Quarter . On the other hand, if we do go out, it means we get to focus 100% on top 4 in the league. It’s best to play the top teams earlier on IMO.

Smart-Arse
Smart-Arse

Definitely hardest possible draw but fuck it, we can still win it the hard way. Don’t we play Villareal/Valencia in Semis though (rather than Benf/Frank)?

Man Manny
Man Manny

Whenever, whoever, wherever
The Gunners are ready ever

kaius
kaius

Oof the away game is gonna be quite tasty! Fireworks and flares, mad Napoli fans who will probably jump on our team bus and will definitely try and keep the team up all night making noise outside our hotel. Ancelotti vs Emery. Koulibaly vs Aubameyang. Ramsey vs Hamsik. Bring it on

Moo moo toure
Moo moo toure

Hamsik left for china i think

kaius
kaius

Him too? A proper club legend who broke Maradona’s goal record for them, thought he’d never leave.

That means Allan and Fabian Ruiz in their midfield. Think we’ll need Torreira motivated for a big midfield battle

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

That’s a good reason to leave. He made history, and now shifts his focus to securing his financial future.

Vince
Vince

I think his financial future was secured long ago, but I understand what you mean Red Sky

Rich
Rich

We play either Valencia/Villarreal in the semi?

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

This is potential semi-final: NAPOLI OR ARSENAL VS VILLARREAL OR VALENCIA

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

Which means either Santi or Coqelin and Gabriel return. Let’s beat Napoli, would love to see some familiar faces again.

berlingoon
berlingoon

And HFB in the final.

Santi’s Smile
Santi’s Smile

Agent Ospina! Hope he adopts his trademark style of playing behind the goal line.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

I doubt he can play against his parent team…or whatever the word actually is.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Ospina has hardly played since Meret got fit. He will presumably be on the bench….which is a shame for us !

BigArse
BigArse

Sure he can. Courtois played against Chelsea a few years back. UEFA doesn’t recognized can’t play against your parent club clauses.

berlingoon
berlingoon

I don’t tink it’s not allowed in England, I think it’s rather a clause in the loan contracts that the player isn’t allowed to play against his actual club. Would be no surprise to me if a similar clause is in the loan contract with Napoli. But as Meret is likely to play anyway, it’s not really important.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Given that we lost our last two away games, and had to bust our balls to win the 2nd legs, I don’t mind playing at home first. IF we can do the business at home, go to Napoli, sit back and hit them on the break. If we win this round, I feel we have one hand on the trophy.

Red-Wing
Red-Wing

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Even if we do beat Napoli, both Valencia and Villarreal are very respectable opponents, and (most probably) Chelsea in the final won’t be a piece of cake either. 5 very tough matches are ahead of us if we want to win this competition. We can do it, but one poor away performance and we can be out as well.

ViennaGooner
ViennaGooner

Spot on. But the competition now get´s really interessting, we´ll only play good opponents from now on. I really like beeing still in it. Would be a shame to be without a chance for any silverware in march.

arsepedant
arsepedant

Valencia are respectable. Villareal, sadly, are flirting with relegation.

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

I reckon a clean sheet is more important… It was Griezmann’s goal that did us over last year

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

O-0 at home is a better result than a 2-1 win imo, as odd as that may sound

Redbaron
Redbaron

So Arsenal will play first at home on 11 Apr. Better book your tickets to Italy for 18 April.

Vince
Vince

I hate the fact that we get to play the 2nd leg away, but it could be a blessing in disguise considering our away days syndrome. Let’s do them proper at the Emirates fortress, then Emery performs a tactical masterclass to draw a blank in Naples. We got this! COYG!!! 🔴

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

There’s a real chance of English teams winning the UCL and Europa. I think we have to now win this to guarantee a place in the UCL next season…or finish third.

ealing
ealing

I think it’s only a problem if Sp*rs or Manure win it

Gunnerlocutor
Gunnerlocutor

Spuds draw City and Manure draw Barca. Hahahahahahahbahahabababahahahahahaha!
Ha!

ealing
ealing

and Chauvs win EL

Andy G
Andy G

We’d only miss out by finishing 4th if 5th and 6th placed in the league win both European tournaments. Fucking unlikely.

Serpent
Serpent

Not even then. If we get 4th we’re qualified for CL. It COULD be six teams from one league.

Vince
Vince

Maximum number of teams from one association is five (5) according to UEFA. If Man Utd win the UCL but finish 5th while Chelsea win the UEL but finish 6th and we finish 4th, we will be playing EL football again next year (God forbid)

Vince
Vince

If there any English team winning the Europa, it is us. Ain’t no way Chelsea are going to win as long as we are still in with a chance. If we get dumped, we turn our focus to 8 league game finals (which I am highly optimistic of finishing 3rd)

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

Napoli’s last 5 league games: 1W, 3D, 1L
And they almost let Red Bull back into the game last night…
Let’s hope they can keep up their rubbish form

ealing
ealing

but Napoli are second 10 points ahead of Roma (sitting 5 in Serie A) and 18 points behind Juventus, so they they have nothing else to play for and can afford to rest players in the Serie A games

Gooner222
Gooner222

Tough draw. Good.
Let’s win this thing properly, COYG!!

CoNr
CoNr

I think this is a good draw for us.. and you can bet Arsenal where the team Napoli least wanted to play this early.

Fab2000
Fab2000

It’s actually nice to have a European tie worth looking forward to

Red Arrow
Red Arrow

Still think top 4 finish is the more likely way back to CL footie. So look at it as a win win situation. If we don’t progress in the cup we can focus in the league. If we do beat Napoli then we have two bites at the cherry. CL footie is so important for us to be able to attract the quality players we need to buy this summer.

Tony G
Tony G

Bring em on I say! At this stage, we were bound to be drawn with a decent team anyway. Plus, we ain’t too bad vs decent teams now!

Chiza
Chiza

Is it just me?… But I really don’t like the fact that we are hosting them first..i prefer we go away first looking at the way we have been performing in this knock out stages

Vince
Vince

Trust me, playing at home first is an advantage to us IF we get a positive result (win without conceding). Rather than go to Napoli first and (God forbid) lose then chase the game at home in the 2nd leg. These Italian teams know how to defend leads. Here’s to hoping we beat them at home and keep a clean sheet then they do the chasing in the 2nd leg, which could play to our advantage as we can hit them on the counter. Which would you prefer? That’s the question

Ram
Ram

Anything can happen in these type of tournaments, no matter it’s Napoli or anybody else, if you put in good performance over two legs, you have chance to qualify for next round.

So I hope this is not any kind of difficult draw for Arsenal. But this time we need to get best possible result in first leg unlike last rounds, because second leg will be away quite difficult considering the opposition like Napoli.

I think Emery and his team will do the job for us.
COYG

Confused
Confused

Last time they paid us a visit they trashed the Piedbury shop.if they wanted their world-famous pies all they had to do was to ask nicely and pay. They looked to me like the Italian equivalents to our own hovel-dwelling Spuds…patate.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Le patate le patate,
Con in mezzo Manzotin

Danny
Danny

Petr cech’s a gooner. He wears a gooner’s hat.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Cannons out and blazing. COYG!!!

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

I don’t think Napoli will be too pleased they have to play Arsenal in quarters either, especially given our form (minus the idiotic EL away losses in the previous rounds). COYG.

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

No worries guys, we have pep guardiola of europa league coaching us.

Vince
Vince

😂😂😂 Not funny dude, but you still got me laughing

Mistafi
Mistafi

Chelsea Arsenal final! What a promotion for Europa.

George
George

Tough draw, though I don’t give a crap about whether it’s home or away first (and, let’s be honest, it really makes very little actual difference).

Santori
Santori

We can beat Napoli.

It will be tricky but we must snatch a win away then take them apart at home.

We have the quality to do it.

Santori
Santori

As for the win against Rennes,

Several things –

1) There are no absolutes. I mentioned before we will revert to back 3 when need be to :

a) Take advantage of the excellent Kolasinac.

b) Suit our selves to the availability of Cbacks plus the nature of the opposition.

2) We have two systems at the moment up top. Either two high up with Auba/Laca supported by the vision of Ozil or 1 up top in either Laca or Auba supported by two wide in Iwobi and Mhkitaryan.

3) Granit and Ramsey. They have forged a surprisingly decent partnership in deep midfield.

All those who like to wank off to Torreira should do well to watch games where he has given the ball away (against BHA, Soton away and West Ham) which have led to goals.

Granit is not without fault but has been solid in recent matches. His positioning has been improved and he orchestrates from the back switching our point of attack very quickly.

Which is a reason why he holds and starts ahead of Torreira.

4) Mustafi. The usual moans about him and utter trite on the BBC highlighting one slip up (which he duly later put in a superb block to prevent a follow through). It was followed by a good 15 -20 minutes of solid clearances and blocks then one very late on in game which was critical.

Again, these simpletons who prefer to snipe at odd mistakes here and there (which other players do as well) selectively do not (conveniently) highlight the good work he does. They are looking for fault.

Not saying he is the best Cback by far but he has been FAR more solid then some would deem to suggest.

5) Auba. As good as he was, he can be MUCH sharper. Missed two very good chances to put the tie away late on in the 80th and 82nd min.

We have earned a good position where we are now for a final push to end of season with potential of 4th or better (and above Spurts) in the league (the more controlled competition) and the added bonus of a Europa cup should we push through the quarters.

It would be a very decent start to Unai’s tenure.