Report: Arsenal 2-0 Napoli (inc goals)

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Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Torreira, Ramsey, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Leno, Mustafi, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Suarez

Goals from Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torreira have given Arsenal a good lead to take to the second leg, beating Napoli 2-0 at the Emirates this evening.

Unai Emery welcomed back Laurent Koscielny and Lucas Torreira to his starting line-up, and also recalled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the attack.

The Gunners started brightly, forcing a couple of early corners. Ramsey saw a shot blocked after a pull back from Kolasinac, then Maitland-Niles’ follow up shot was blocked too. Koscielny had defend a low cross smartly but in the 15th minute we were ahead.

Arsenal worked it from inside their own half, Ozil to Ramsey and back to Ozil, to Lacazette, he found Maitland-Niles in the box who laid it off to the Welshman who finished superbly with his right foot. 1-0.

Torreira was making things happen in midfield, making tackles, and the Urugauyan won the ball twice in the build-up to Arsenal’s second goal. The second time he took it on, turned inside, took a shot which deflected off Koulibaly and wrong-footed the keeper as it went in and doubled the lead. 2-0.

Ozil was causing the Italians problems with his movement, Lacazette mis-kicked when set up by Aubameyang on the edge of the box, and Ramsey tested the keeper after an Ozil free kick fell for him at the back post. An Aubameyang shot from distance saw the keeper fumble it but grab the ball at the second attempt, and the striker had another sight of goal when Maitland-Niles played him in but his attempted chip didn’t fool Merets.

At the other end Rui shot over the bar after a careless pass from Ramsey, and just before half-time there was a real opportunity for Insigne to pull one back but he shot over the bar from the penalty spot. Even then more good Arsenal play saw a half-chance for Ramsey just before the referee blew for the end of the first 45 minutes.

The second period began with the Italians looking much more energised and dangerous, with Koscielny and Torreira making crucial interventions to deny them at key moments. Insigne had the ball in the net but he was rightly given offside, but there were warning signs for Emery’s men.

Cech had to tip a Koulibaly header over the bar, but at the other end Arsenal were still dangerous. A good short corner move ended with Ramsey smashing a shot at goal which the keeper did well to save and from the resulting corner Monreal headed not far over.

The visitors continued to try and find a way to exploit a defence which hasn’t always been secure this season. Monreal and Koscielny had to make clearances, before Carlo Ancelotti brought on Polish striker Milik for Mertens, and Emery made his first changes a minute later with Iwobi and Mkhitaryan replacing Ozil and Lacazette.

Good work down the left again saw Kolasinac cross, the keeper got hands to it, it fell for Maitland-Niles whose shot bounced up towards goal and Meret made an excellent stop to prevent the Gunners going further ahead. It might have proved a very costly miss had Napoli not made a mess of another glorious chance to score. Insigne got down their right hand side, crossed to the far post, Zielinski was there with just a tap in but on the stretch he put it over the bar.

Ramsey caused more problems around the box but Kolasinac couldn’t find the right cross, before we made our final change when Eleny replaced Torreira on 77′. We should have scored again when Mkhitaryan created a glorious chance for Ramsey but somehow the Welshman blasted the ball over the bar from 10 yards out.

Napoli sought a way back into the game, looking for a vital away goal, and Cech had to stand up well to a cross at his near post. Aubameyang had a chance when Mkhitaryan drove towards goal but he blasted his shot into the side netting, and Ounas shot wide when he should have done better.

We went into four minutes of added time, but neither side added to the scoreline. We could have scored more, but so could they, and all in all it’s a good result ahead of the trip to Italy next week.

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Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

I only saw highlights of the goals but it seemed we moved the ball quickly and Napoli couldn’t cope with the pace.

gooner
gooner

yap. but after the second goal we switched off offensively. we made the worst passes or ball controls and I am sure Ramsey scores that third goal in his sleep every night.

happy but would have been happier going with a 3-0 over there. or 4-0. 5-0 ?

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Sorry gooner, had to give it a down for the last part, of course we would.

Post January Blip
Post January Blip

They couldn’t cope with our pressing either!

GunneRon

And that’s how you play a knockout match in Europe. You keep yourself in the tie after the first leg, which we haven’t done in quite a while.

An amazing team performance from the boys, who gave it their all. Our best first half this season. Disappointed we didn’t score more, but I’m also glad we didn’t concede.

That clean sheet was massive, make no mistake about it. For a 2-0 is much more significant than say a 3-1, as it gives us a real chance to progress if we score in the second leg.

Torreira, AMN, Kola, Ozil, Laca and our centre backs were immense today. But there was one player who stood out today, and that was Ramsey. Our Welsh Jesus was everywhere today. The quality, the class and the desire to give his all in his last days at the club. What a player ! Gonna miss you Legend . Let’s hope he signs off in style by winning us the cup. COYG !

masterofthegoonaverse
masterofthegoonaverse

Had to watch in a noisy bar with no commentary but we were excellent first half and battled well in the second

Jack
Jack

I think I love Ozil. Like I’m actually in love with him.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

Get in line

Jack but
Jack but

Lol

Maniac

Absolutely huge result. Keeping a clean sheet at home is an absolute Godsend. Bring on the next leg!

Hantal
Hantal

This is what happens when we press the ball.

Also nice not to have linesmen against us

Stroenke kran
Stroenke kran

Although the laca shot that was saved was falling to Ramsey which was falsely flagged offside. Why flag such decisions if there’s var? Just let the situation play out? I’ll never get it.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Nice

Raok
Raok

I don’t know in which country/channel you were watching, but you have to agree that the commentators were just fucking unbearably anti Arsenal. Fuck them bastards.

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Aren’t they always

gooner
gooner

Uganda here and he was very arsenal he could have been Arsene if it hadn’t been for the voice.

I hate the league commentators though.

David C
David C

I had DAZN commentators, Danny Mills was one of them and he was full of praise for the Gunners!

Big clean sheet! BOOM!!!

Scwibble
Scwibble

I suffered through Robbie Savage. Robbie Savage -_-

Scandinavian tourist
Scandinavian tourist

In Sweden we had the living Arsenal legend Kim Källström commentating in a very pro Cazorla way. Loved it.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

“Living Arsenal legend” lol!

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

I couldn’t make it tonight so I can’t be one to judge, but was there any reason the stands directly in front of the camera were half empty with 15 minutes left tonight?

Dobbi
Dobbi

prawn sandwich brigade 😉

Goonerrific
Goonerrific

The place was packed, but I’ve never seen so many bullshit half and half scarves in my life. 😢

Sploop
Sploop

It was not packed. Not even in the slightest.

Richardb
Richardb

No not packed and people were leaving with 17 mins to go . Why ?. It was a good game. By the time we got to the end of the 4 mins extra time it was emptying out . That must be horrible for the players. You win walk over to pitch side and what no crowd left. We can’t fill the place for 90 mins. it annoys me. Richard

Richardb
Richardb

ps I wonder if it’s because no one wants to listen to Sweet Caroline UH UH UH being plaid after the final whistle.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Bring back Curtis Mayfield, I say.

Jijo
Jijo

Cleansheet is important. Could have scored at least two more with the chances we had. But that’s the beauty of the game! Good display overall. Staying up till 3 AM didn’t turn out bad!

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

We could’ve scored so much more. Untouchable in the first half but we found ourselves knackered in the second with less possession and not enough chemistry. With all that being said, I think we stand a solid chance in the 2nd leg and can make it through.. great goalkeeping from napoli’s keeper, made some fine saves today. I think the squad now knows it’s time for all or nothing

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

I take the comment by the commentator, “have you ever seen a Carlo Ancelotti team passed so poorly?” as a compliment. Our positioning and discipline was fantastic today. Probably the best I have ever seen it.

Scwibble
Scwibble

I take it more as them being poor, you’re flattering the team if you think Napoli weren’t poor the amount of sloppy giveaways they had, at times not even under pressure.

Everyone knew they were coming into the game low on confidence as well.

My name is Jeff
My name is Jeff

I’ll take that result every day of the week. Not that it is impossible for Napoli to beat us on their home turf, but with the possibility of one away goal putting the tie out of reach we are well positioned going into that game.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Great performance, especially first half. Ramsey and Torreira make a huge difference in midfield, as does having Kosc at the back. Just a shame we couldn’t score more on the night. Napoli targeted Monreal a lot, that’s an area I think Emery will have to look at in the second leg.

Jack but
Jack but

Monreal coped perfectly with all the bullshit thrown at him, he deserve a bottle of my chilled and don’t forget cech, he too deserve a jugful

goonero
goonero

Litterally only the second time we’ve seen a Ramsey Torreira double pivot and they were absolutely crucial in our dominance first half…can’t help but feel we’ve missed out on a tremendous partnership there.

Let’s hope we can put together something approaching decent away performance to see this one through. Even though it’s 2-0 and they can’t get an away goal now, this tie feels far from over, I think a lot of our lads knew that and were gutted not to get that 3rd goal. Still an excellent performance on its own though. Ramsey, Torreira, Ozil, Maitland-Niles and Koscielny in particular were massive today.

Daniel
Daniel

Exactly my thoughts regarding Ramsey-Torreira partnership :/

Deano

Priceless clean sheet, fancy an away goal will see us through.

Nick
Nick

With every passing game, the Ramsey situation looks like an absolute tragedy.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

I get you but Ramsey is playing with some sort remarkable freedom and release since he signed his new contract. He was always good for us but not THIS good apart from that 2014-15 season… I think a good move for him and if he leaves us with some silverware, amazing.

Daniel
Daniel

He actually played on similiar level in the second half of last season, although he was rested in quite a lot of league matches towards the end, to be ready for european ties

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I think you mean 2013-14 but I get you. He was also very good last year, so much so he won Arsenal player of the season, a ray of light during a very difficult time.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

He was indeed – his finishing in particular became stupidly composed … he just became a very cool player. But at the moment he’s on another plane. Personally I think the juventus contract has pushed his confidence through the roof.

Nathan
Nathan

Perhaps.. he just *peaking* at 28 (as midfielders do)? and now off on a free. Shocking

Homer
Homer

Remember: Ramsey wanted to leave. He made a choice and looked at acontract w/a huge pay raise for close to a year refusing to sign it.

This shit happens. And no matter what the fuckwit pundits, or the douchebags on aftv say, Rambo made a choice. Good for him. He’s a is model professional. Giving his all to the end – after giving us 2 FA cups. Let’s just everybody chill out on the whole situation.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

His professionalism this season is making everybody forget HE chose not to sign a new lucrative contract that was bigger than everyone else bar Ozil. I will miss him when hes gone but the media narrative is a joke. You would think emery offered him a contract in crayon and told him to sign or fuck off or that Ramsey has been performing like this for seasons.

goonero
goonero

Why is this the new narrative? Where has this come from? A source more credible than Ornstein? He said the situation was that Aaron believed he would be offered the contract he wanted BY ARSENAL, and that the club unceremoniously ended negotiations and withdrew the offer they had made (which Ramsey was, for reasons none of us actually know, not willing to sign within that specific time). This is consistent with the initial media reports on the issue and explains why Ramsey himself was surprised by the decision.

He wanted to stay, just because he was negotiating for a better deal with Arsenal doesn’t mean he was surreptitiously never planning to sign and while engineering a big money move elsewhere. That discredits Ramsey’s loyalty and paints him in a negative light.

Don’t take my word for it, go listen to the Ornstein Arsecast for yourselves and stop inventing stories.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

He had an offer on the table that was second only to Ozil’s. That was from last season and over the summer. He didnt sign for whatever reason. I believe and it looks like he wanted and expected more money. Which is his prerogative and i dont begrudge him for trying to get the best deal for himself. Hes been with us 10 years i dont think his loyalty has ever been in question. I think he valued himself more than Arsenal.
The narrative im talking about is the one that he has always performed like this and that Emery has binned this world class talent for no reason when its simply not true.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I don’t think many, or anyone really, is blaming Emery for the situation. He’s simply inherited a long standing problem where we haven’t been able to sign up our top players to long term contracts, or move them on before their value depreciates. And it’s accepted that it was Arsenal that decided to withdraw the contract, not Ramsey who according to Ornstein was ready to sign it. I won’t speculate on why it took so long to sign it or who briefed Ornstein, but I just want to be clear that this is the information that’s out there. And here it is from the horse’s mouth:

“Everything has been going great with the club – we thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal but that’s no longer the case,” Ramsey said. “So I just have to carry on playing my football and do my best for Arsenal this season and I’ll leave the rest with the club.

“Am I disappointed? That’s a decision they have made and things happen in football and you just have to get on with it. That’s all I am concentrating on and giving my best for Arsenal.”

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

Maitland Niles fits this team like a glove now. Love what the young man is doing.

myrtle
myrtle

Ainsleave maitland niles

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

Should have been 5-2 (they also missed two huge sitters) so 2-0 is a good result

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

A disappointing night.

Yes it fucking was. We got into a great position at half time and didn’t build on it. We should have scored at least two more in the second half and killed off the tie. Now we have a nervous 90 minutes in a white-hot Italian stadium next week. Those misses by Monreal and Ramsey in particular could cost us a semi-final place.

Napoli were average tonight and should have been seen off. This tie should be over.

And why did Emery sub Ozil and Laca? The we both excellent tonight. We were worse without Mesut.

I just hope we don’t fuck this up from this position.

Shtopthelights
Shtopthelights

The man who replaced ozil set up two sitters for his teammates.

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

To quote the great Michael Scott, “Why are you the way that you are?”

KongoKim
KongoKim

classic.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Oh ffs…are you ever happy??!

Scwibble
Scwibble

I feel your frustration, I was so mad at how many build ups we failed, how many times kolasinac couldn’t release the ball quicker, the missed opportunities, aubameyamg etc. But we have the clean sheet by some miracle, and it was not a bad display by any means. Cheer up.

Post January Blip
Post January Blip

Job’s not done yet but what a result. The boys put in a real shift tonight and hopefully we can recharge for Watford. A bit gutted that we didn’t make more of our chances but happy with the clean sheet!

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

What you talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?

Flash
Flash

It was a really nice job, but…
I really hope we won’t loose our appetite for goals next week.
Otherwise we will easily find ourself in trouble again.
…and I hope Emery remembers that game against Barca 2 years ago!

UpNorth
UpNorth

When putting an effort in we’re really a good team with a lot of top class players. We need of course new players this summer, but in my opinion we can improve significantly with small measures. If Sokratis can move his head and see players running behind him he’ll be a much better player, if defence pick up players in the box, Kola to lift his head and aim his final pass inside the box , we’ll improve both offence and defence. This is not finding errors on a good day, but only to highlight that it’s a great potential in this club.
I fear though that our wastefulness in front of the goal will bite us in the arse the next leg.

gooner
gooner

a bit off topic but is the Arsenal to Uganda tour still on this off season? Tried to surf for any info but in vain. run out of reasons to postpone my wedding this June/ July to August

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Is it not Rwanda they are going to? Can’t see it being in the summer as they are playing 4 games in America. Though it cud be at the end of this season. There’s a two week gap between our last PL game and the europa league final on 29th May if we make it.

gooner
gooner

definitely not to Rwanda. after Gazidis abandoned ship the Uganda tour evaporated. which is a good idea. we can’t generate anything close to value revenue related but damn it, looked like a once in a lifetime chance for us gooners here. still the best supported European club in Africa outside south Africa.

SB Still
SB Still

Just like Arsenal’s home and away results have a clear pattern, the post match coverage also have a clear pattern.

After the loss (or maybe draw) away talk about the poor form on the road and slate Arsenal.

After the victory at home, talk about Ramsey leaving and slate Arsenal!

Vonnie
Vonnie

Spot on, and blame it all on Ozil………Martin Keown really is a cunt and that irritating anti-Arsenal commentry does my head in.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

Yeah but he’s OUR cunt.
Show some respect for an invincible, mate.

Adams9802
Adams9802

Good start that won us the game. Both sides were rather sloppy in the passing. Some of our finishing was dreadful. We need to grab an early goal next week.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

We have a glorious chance to progress to the semi final.

berlingoon
berlingoon

Ain’t nobody like Koscielny! Fucking love this guy! Capitaine Fantastique! Brilliant performance from all the other lads too. Shoud’ve scored 1-2 more but i’m still confident for the 2nd leg.

myrtle
myrtle

Absolute soldier

Sue

Brilliant performance (especially the 1st half) why can’t we play like this every week???

Glenlaup
Glenlaup

Because we don’t always start with our best players, that’s why!

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

Great performance which deserved alot more goals. Only gave them two significant chances over the whole game.

Der Kaiser
Der Kaiser

Good result. Probably fair although shame Rambo did not bury that chance for 3-0. Don’t count the chickens. Clean sheet with Kos and without Mustafi – there is a surprise. Abu please hold the ball up occasionally

Santori
Santori

Had to miss the second half unfortunately but based on first half performance, much better endeavor.

Torreira a real bonus, he looked like he was everywhere for us. Great hustle to win that ball then score. Sure its an own goal but if you don’t invest into a shot, you won’t score anyway.

Ramsey solid today making great timed run to dart into the box. He accomplishes this with the right support next to him in midfield but also overall with the team in sync.

Also good work from Ozil today dropping deep to collect and pass.

It was again a midfield unit back to full function. BUT wingbacks also far more switched on today. AMN much better this time round with a good lay off for the goal but also plenty of over lapping effort and critically better cover at the back.

Clean sheet a plus too as we take 2 over to the away leg. Don’t think they registered too much at our goal first half and this was as much our ability to sufficate higher up the pitch with the midfield as it was diligent work by the backline.

More efficiency in front of goal yet for us but a very much improved display against one of the better sides in europe this season.