Kolasinac delighted by ‘big win’ but urges focus

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Sead Kolasinac says Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Napoli was deserved and puts the Gunners in a good position ahead of next week’s Europa League quarter-final second leg at the San Paulo.

Man of the match Aaron Ramsey finished off a flowing move to open the scoring after 14 minutes and not long after Kalidou Koulibaly inadvertently deflected in a Lucas Torreira strike to double the home side’s lead.

Adding a gloss to a fine performance was the preservation of a clean sheet which the Bosnian confirmed was one of the team’s aims for the night.

“I think we started the game really well from the first minute,” he told Arsenal.com.

“We deserved to take the lead and then added a second goal. We really wanted to keep a clean sheet tonight and are able to do that.

“We studied Napoli before the game and knew where their strengths and weaknesses were. I think we showed that well on the pitch tonight with a good team performance. The win was deserved.”

According to Opta, we’ve progressed from eight of our last nine Europea knockout ties in which we’ve won the first leg, with the only exception coming in 2010/11 when Barcelona bounced back from a 2-1 defeat at the Emirates. While the omens are good, our awful form this season away from home remains a real cause for concern.

“It puts us in a good position, of course, but we know it’s only 2-0,” said Kolasinac.

“What was important was that we kept a clean sheet tonight, but in Naples it will be a completely different game. We’ll need to go in 100 per cent focused, as we did tonight.

“Everyone wants to win the Europa League, but we know there’s still a long way to go. We’re not thinking about that yet, we’re looking from game to game. We’ve put ourselves in a good position for the return game.”

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Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

To be successful this season i think it’s essential for our wing backs to stay sharp and for to play to their strengths. Like at Everton, the two were having a bad game because we just can’t release them at the flanks.

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

*for us to play to their strengths

Russ
Russ

I can’t help but feel the Everton match may have been good for us in someways. Making us focus more, you have to go down before you go up as it were…

Time will tell I suppose.

Great win last night!

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

I would prefer we find some other ways to focus on the games rather than having to lose few games 🤣.
Some games you could clearly see that players were not “up for it” or “didnt fancy it” like the one in Everton. Think Blogger hit the nail about some players lacking the character to fight when the going gets tough. No amount of preparation or analysis can increae the size of your “cojones”!
Speaking of which, we must win the watford game at any cost. Nothing will squash the talk about “cojones” like a win over at Psycho Deeny’s place.

Santori
Santori

Not sure about ‘lacking character’ but more psychologically feeble.

Against Napoli away, I feel we are good with one striker plus Iwobi and Ramsey supporting with Granit and Torreira deeper.

Owl faced Deeney's cojones
Owl faced Deeney's cojones

If I was forced to pick the one to lose between Everton and Napoli, I am not sure I would have picked Everton. That game won and top four becomes imminent reality.

Goonereality
Goonereality

We needed a win, and we really needed a two goal cushion given our truly terrible away record (not only in the EPL but the Europa League as well). We got both which is good news, but Kolasinac is correct in saying that in Naples it will be a completely different game. I’ve seen Napoli at the SPS with their fanatical (and I mean fanatical) support behind them. However, it will be a good test of how the “positive” talk from players we’ve had after recent games actually translates on the pitch away from The Emirates. After all, it’s probably those away games which will define our season both domestically and in Europe.

Santori
Santori

An away goal from us will kill the tie.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

…or it might take two or even three to do the trick. I’d hate us to open the scoring and think “Job Done”

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

All we need is a goal & it should be enough, can’t see Napoli scoring 4

Goonereality
Goonereality

Famous – but hopefully – not last words, “All we need is a goal…”. Yes, that would probably kill off the tie but if the goal went in the other direction, and particularly at an early stage of the game, we could well be in trouble. We need cool, confident (but not over-confident) heads at the SPS and, critically, a defence that does the business away from home, which will be a first in our recent Europa League games!

Santori
Santori

Caution needed but at the same time no need to be so negative.

Away form is befuddling. If we can win away at Watford, it may help us in midweek as well.

A bit more belief and fight necessary from some players on the road psychologically.

Amusa
Amusa

Did anyone see the Napoli player run shoulder first into Kola but fall flat on his arse?

Santori
Santori

You don’t try to run at a train on the move. Silly.

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

Many analysts have given short shrift to Arsenal finishing 4th let alone 3rd.
Of course being experienced make their words more credible.Nothing will give me
pleasure in ramming the words down their throat . Its MU to qualify blah balh.
Since being beaten by Arsenal,the hulabaloo around the norwegian has broken into a strange silence.
Dont surprised he will be out by next Xmas 2020 if he cant produce awinning team.

Santori
Santori

Would be a very good first season if we are finished third ahead of the Spurts with another St Torerringham’s day.

A Europa trophy would be icing.

Santori
Santori

Much better from both wingbacks against napoli.

Now focus is on Watford which we mustn’t take lightly.

Hope to see Iwobi and Kolasinac combine. The Nigerian controls the ball well for us and the pair have good understanding.

A win at Watford will be very welcome as we need to improve away form quickly for the run in.

We need to take all remaining points in the league.