So, Arsenal win their second game on the bounce 1-0 away from home, that is two clean sheets and unlike the first of those wins over Watford in the Premier League, this one over Napoli was impressive.
The tie was basically settled in the 36th minute following a beautifully taken free kick from Alexandre Lacazette. From that point onwrads, Napoli had a huge task ahead of them and they never looked like getting the four goals they would have needed to progress to the semi-finals.
The defence stood strong, the entire unit was organised and coped with everything their opponents threw at them. The midfield battled for every ball in the midfield and Lacazette, complimented by Aubameyang, did a great job up front.
All in all, it was a great performance from a team that has been much maligned for it’s poor away record this season.
Petr Cech – 7
The pivotal moment was his great stop from Jose Callejon and he has more than justified his inclusion at the expense of Bernd Leno in this competition.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8
What a good game the youngster had, he defended when necessary and flew down the wings whenever he was given the opportunity. One of his best games this season.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 8
Showed his class last night despite being under immense pressure and showed that he can be calm and decisive when required and was not afraid to get stuck in.
Laurent Koscielny – 8
Put in a solid performance and showed leadership throughout. Cricual tackles and effective clearances became the norm as the game went on.
Nacho Monreal – 7
Nacho had a good game and is a definite upgrade on Mustafi. His performance was not spectacular but he did what he had to do and for the most part, did it effectively.
Sead Kolasinac – 6
Was a bit rash on occasions and did give the ball away a couple of times but he can be forgiven for the very minor lapses he incurred.
Lucas Torreira – 7
Did what he had to do under trying circumstances, I have seen him play better but he wound up the opponents and that in itself was enough.
Granit Xhaka – 7
A quiet game really but like Torreira he did what he had to do and put in a workhorse performance
Aaron Ramsey – 5
Difficult to give a true rating as he was not on the field long enough though I must admit the little I did see of him last night was slightly below his best.
Alexandre Lacazette – 9
The match winner and much more, he settled the game and was a thorn in the side of the Napoli defence throughout the evening.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5
Not his best game, too often he lost the ball and how he missed from four yards out I do not know.
Henrik Mkhitaryan – 4
His inconsistency was on display again last night and I expected more and not for the first time this season. He could have done better and simply did not.
Mohamed Elneny – 5
An average performance overall but cannot criticise too much basically, he did his job.
Alex Iwobi – 5
Not on long enough to really make an impact and did what was required of him.
Why did Emery bench Mkhitaryan when he was just starting to show form ?
Because he got tired and needed to be replaced by the fresher CAM (Ozil/ Ramsey)
Lacazette was my MOTM as well, because his goal made Napoli nervous
Torreira has also been the workhorse in the last two away games. His tackles/ interceptions are excellent and I hope he keeps his forms till the end of this season
It’s amazing that for about a decade, Wenger couldn’t see, or refused to even acknowledge the importance of true DM like Torreira. He’s not even completed a season with us, and look at the difference already. There’s no doubt that Xhaka has improved because of Torreira next to him.
What a bargain Torreira is now looking! Easily worth £50 million in today’s market.
So true, and for Torreira and Xhaka together is now a very important part of our team.
During Wenger’s tenure, the last great DM was Gilberto Silva. After that we have Alex Song which was a good DM, but unfortunately he chose to go to Barcelona
Coquelin was also a revelation when he returned from the loan and played as a DM, but produced a series of bad performances which led to his sale to Valencia. I hope Torreira is not a one season wonder like Coquelin
TMJW This wilful blindness by “I did not see it Wenger” was to me and presumably many others too, the most difficult to fathom of his many mistakes. Since this gaping hole went on for a decade since Gilberto left with no serious attempt to fill it, he brought the correct wrath of us fans down upon himself. He need not have done but chose to do so. He therefore got precisely what he deserved, the sack (though it was thinly disguised as a “resignation” to save everyones face, esp Gazidis who made Wenger look innocent by comparison!). It was as though he had a career death wish and must have known but simply did not care about the constant hole that the entire rest of the football world could clearly see and which was talked aboiut constantly by fans and TV pundits and written press too. Only Wenger “DID NOT SEE IT”! Perhaps after all he really WAS blind!
I’ll have to go by what you say here because I missed the match, seen some clips and stuff, sounds like it was a great team performance and it is the team performance that should get top rating or else it should go to Emery. I know Lacazette is not happy again about coming off, just as he was unhappy about missing Watford, but when you see how fit he was and how focused he was, does it not make it a good call esp as we have some tough games coming up with hopefully a final to play this season also. Emery is wrapping him in cotton wool a little, rather than see the downside he should realize his importance to all of our hopes and dreams.
Xhaka and Torriera back bring a maturity to our midfield, I’m delighted they are both back must admit. Really bad timing with Ramsey, he’s played a lot over the last stretch and it caught up to him, we’ll miss that option for away games and if we make the final he could also be a huge loss. Cech, how did he see that rebound off of Monreal as he plucks it out of air like that, that was some reflex of a save.
Nice rating admin, our defence was very not so solid in the first half but we improved significantly in the second half. Laca’s goal was beautiful. But we defended well eventually.
Lacazette has been the man for the big occasions throughout this entire season. This entire tie was killed off with that free kick. Big moments for big players.
RSH, thank you for information about Mesut Ozil. You were right Ozil never won the Champions League, it was EUFA Championship in 2012 while at Real Madrid, it’s a competition apparently played every four years and to be honest not a competition I know much about. My apologies.
RSH, sorry again mate it was EUROS and with Germany in 2012
RSH, sorry again mate it was EUROS and with Germany in 2012
The team looked like when we went 22 unbeaten. The players are fighting and we keep riding lady luck.
In sport you make your own luck. As my late father used to say: “the harder I worked, the luckier I got”.
So Ramsey might only miss 2 or 3 weeks. I hope he gets to play again before he departs… would be such bad luck for him otherwise. He deserves a good send off & hopefully that will involve lifting a trophy ?
The final is may 29th so there’s every chance Sue ? providing we get there ? losing to Ath Madrid last year should be motivation to beat Valencia but luckily Valencia aren’t as tough as Madrid so I’m pretty confident ?
But they did draw twice with Barcelona this season and beat real Madrid so we’ll have to be careful ?
Oh bloody hell Kev, don’t tell me that.. I’m nervous already ?? anyway you can’t get to the semi final of any competition & expect an easy game!
I’m sorry Sue I’m the bearer of bad news ? exactly so we’re going to do it the hard way ? I’ve actually longed to win the Uefa cup, I was devastated to lose to galatasray in the 2000 final ? people call it a Mickey mouse cup but I’d rather win Uefa cup than the fa cup we need to start making our mark in Europe ?
I do love the fa cup… so love it when we’re victorious ? I do think they should bring back the teams in the final releasing a song though! I just lurve ‘Hot Stuff’ every time I see the just eat advert, it reminds me of it & I want to start singing it ???
I’d love for us to win something in Europe again Kev, been far too long… so come on!!!
Too right, you were probably my age when we last won in 94 ? oh yeah lol and those suits especially Liverpool’s white suits 90s fashion disaster ? ? We’ve won enough fa cups to last us a life time Sue maybe we should turn our attention to the league cup which we haven’t won since 93 I think I could be wrong ?
Hahahahaha not quite!! I was still a teenager then ? yes really before you ask ? bloody cheek!!
Well yes any trophy would be nice, but we just don’t seem to cut it in the league cup.. yes you’re correct as usual – maybe we need Merson back ??
I was almost a teenager ? ok I believe you Sue ? I gave up after we lost to Birmingham ? haha and Sheffield Wednesday although I hated playing them we were always terrible at Hillsborough ?
Almost…. yes ok don’t rub it in ?? so I don’t think I’ve ever asked you?? Or I may have but as we’ve covered billions of topics, I can’t remember… but how & when did you become a gooner?
No special reason everyone in my area supported either Arsenal spurs or Chelsea or lower league teams and I chose Arsenal mainly because I loved the yellow kit and it was when we beat Liverpool at anfield in 89 I was a pup but didn’t really get involved heavily until I was about 10 maybe ? what about you ?? ?
Well you chose very well Kev ? a pup ? with me it was all down to Ian Wright.. would always watch the scores come in on a Saturday & MOTD…and I thought he was quite simply… brilliant! I remember an ex of mine was a die-hard Chelsea fan & kept trying to brainwash me into liking them.. no chance! I used to just take the p**s & say they were crap & that Kerry (Dixon) was a girl’s name ??
I certainly did Sue although they’ve broke my heart many many times ? still don’t ever regret supporting them though ? haha yeah very good Sue now we can say that about Liverpool and Alisson ? living next door to Alisson ? (smokey song Alice) lol. I never tried to get a girl to follow arsenal I never cared I like supporting them on my own I didn’t need a fan base ?
I know, me too… this is really embarrassing to admit & I never thought I’d cry over football.. but I have on a fair few occasions… the last being when piano man left for OT – gutted! And when we lost 3-1 to West Brom lol!! And don’t even get me started on my meltdowns ? the ups & downs hey.. but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m with you I don’t regret a thing & I can’t ever imagine a life without Arsenal ?
Haha love it (if only the Anfield crowd would sing it ?) Well why not Kev, have a little tantrum by yourself hey ?
Jesus, so have i,I was in tears after the champions League final and when we lost the league to utd on the last day, I was at the arsenal villa game and deary me I just felt so sickened that utd won at old Trafford ? never cried over the piano Man though ? of course not we need the stress it’s keeps us sane ? don’t rule it out they sing everything else ? lol exactly Sue just go on a rant to yourself can’t whack it ??
Yeah well ? was my fav & to go to OT one of the teams I absolutely loathe…was like a punch in the stomach… devastated!! Soon got over it.. have to don’t you!! Life goes on…
No doubt there’ll be plenty more times for us to get the Andrex out ?
I will sob when Kos goes or retires ? he’s my favourite player ? what about van persie ??? ? I think solskjaer is one defeat away from the sack ?
Please don’t mention RVP ??
Well as much as I’d love to read more of your hilarious comments I need sleep.. so sleep well & remember we have to pray for Pep!! Goodnight Kev ?? enjoy whatever film you’ve got on
Sue, Pep can afford a cashmere sweater for every day of the week he doesn’t need our prayers ? oh I wasn’t watching anything really ? hope you slept well and you have a great day Sue ?
Well if they lose today, I’ll quite happily throttle him with one of his cashmere sweaters!!
You have a great day too! Bet your daughter’s hoping you’ve got her lots of Easter eggs!! Enjoy the sun (or fishing!) ?
Can someone tell me why we have to fear Leicester and Wolves on the road when we can play like that?
(probably because in the PL we start Eleneny and hardly ever our best 11 like we did yesterday)
Because unfortunately we don’t always play like that!
I think it is Emery. I think he might be too conservative on the road. This time has wasn’t and he got rewarded. I hope he applies some of that in the PL road games and not rest too many players. The season is almost over these last PL road games could mean millions for us. This is the time not to be too cautious by resting players but instead play your best 11 in these last few games IMO.
Too right TAC