Have Arsenal just put one foot into the semi-final of the EL?

Arsenal shot into an early lead in their Europa League tie with Napoli tonight, and ended up taking a 2-0 lead into the away leg in Italy, but is it enough to be confident of progressing?

Aaron Ramsey carried on his emphatic form in 2019 by opening the scoring from around the penalty spot, putting the ball neatly past the keeper after the lay-off by Ashley Maitland-Niles.

This goal was just the beginning as we spent near enough the entire first 45 minutes attacking the Azzurri goal. Amazingly it was our main goalscorers who were wasting our best chances, with Aubameyang failing to challenge the keeper with his best opportunities.

We did manage to double our lead in the opening half however, with Rambo’s partner in the middle of the field Torreira finding the net, having missed a number of recent fixtures for our side.

The second half wasn’t quite so one-sided unfortunately. The visitors slowly began to find their feet in the second half, and you would have to say was a very even 45 minutes.

Napoli were getting in behind our players with long balls, and we were getting in behind, mostly down the wings, and Emery decided that he wasn’t happy after 20 minutes. Lacazette and Ozil were replaced by Iwobi and Mkhitaryan.

The duo did help us to assert ourselves once again, although not enough to see us extend our lead, and you have to be happy with the scoreline.

No away goals has to be a huge deal, and a two-goal advantage will surely mean our opponents will have too much to do in Naples.

Do we simply need to set up on the counter and snatch a goal in Italy? Or do we simply need to stay balanced and keep things simple on our travels?

Pat J


  1. Win as predicted because Arsenal never let Napoli to build their attack from the back, unlike previously when Arsenal allowed Everton’s defenders and GK distribute the ball freely

    That’s why one striker alone is not enough to pressurize the opposition’s defenders. I hope they keep using two forwards when facing the cojones team

    Having said that, the passes and first touches are still not on a par with Barcelona’s level. Watford could capitalize on the players’ shaky composure at away

    1. Good performance win xpected. Auba had a few chances that I expected at list one to be converted. For now though I’ll enjoy the win

  2. We will pay for all those missed chances. Game should have put to bed in the first half, let alone the second half. Positive result nonetheless and hats off to Napoli. They came to play ball and not to defend like some team would.

    1. We were more than lkiely always going to beat them at home.The question was more of by how many and not if.The same way we dominated them is the same they would do to us.Hopefully our defense stands strong on that day and we get an away goal.We were a bit shocking in terms of our finishing but the players may have just been rushing trying to put it in.

    2. Those two 50+ M strikers need to be replaced by two tricky inverted wingers like Pepe, Malcom or Neres

      Younger and will offer more penetrations/ goals/ assists as wide forwards or wingers

      1. The same Malcolm who never plays at Barca ? I rather keep my two strikers. And don’t tell me the reason he’s on the bench is because is hard to get playing time at Barca, that alone should be the reason why we don’t go for him.

      2. gotanidea you’ve started right?
        “Those two 50+ M strikers need to be replaced by two tricky inverted wingers like Pepe, Malcom or Neres”

        Now we need to replace our strikers with inside forwards??
        Humans, you can’t satisfy them.
        We need Wingers yes I know, but not at the expense of our strikers, they waste chances but they also score goals.
        On that list the only player I prefer is Malcom

  3. I expected Arsenal to win today and also expect a Napoli win when they are at home.We are very good at home and so are they too.We could’ve done with more goals to put the tie to bed but as things stand Napoli at still in it.Disappointed that we missed many chances because just as we didn’t give them breathing space the same will be done to us in Naples.
    Anyway a good win and I commend the effort of the players in keeping the clean sheet.

  4. Good solid 2-0 scoreline, the commentator I was listening to was a muppet. He kept going on about needing a third goal like it is a must. The clean sheet was the important thing after we got a decent lead, yes you want to take your chances but it is a fine balancing act, the players played it smart this season. Ramsey and Torriera were absolutely terrific, the way they backed up the front men with pressing was impressive. We tired fairly quickly though, I think we made the right changes as we had to try and keep Napoli out. One away goal now and they need four, that is the all important third goal that we may or may not need.

    1. Yes, they are very dilligent and made a lot of interceptions/ link-ups

      When their batteries are full, they can cover a lot of ground

  5. Fantastic performance, and result, but what might have been? Napoli should have definitely have got two, but how many for us? I think we should have got at least 6, maybe more?

    Great way to bounce back from the Everton defeat. Emery has got us turning up against the big boys, and he’s turning the Emirates into a fortress.

    Now it’s back to reality on Monday night. Defeat to Watford, dead performance, and 6th in the league. Might just watch Game of Thrones instead. Haha!

    Ramsey brilliant, but Torreira just about wins MOTM for me.

    1. As usual, the players put in extra effort because of the prestige of the match

      I bet they would be sleepy again when facing the cojones team three days later

      1. Difficult to dispute that we have a penchant for falling asleep in away games…… but I think it’s down to the gaffer…. team selection, formation, and tactics

  6. I want to cry every time I remember Ramsay is leaving this summer and worse for free!
    Big game player and starting to finally realise his potential with a coach playing him with the right tactics

  7. Relax people, we’re going to the semi’s, our away form is bad but let’s not bring that into Europe. Don’t forget so far it seems Emery is prioritising Europa over the top four.
    I don’t get why he has to keep ruining this team selection, our next away game, he’ll change the formation and players when it’s clear this selection involves all our best players.
    I hope he doesn’t go all defensive on Monday against Watford, and I do hope we don’t play too safe at Naples.
    As long as we don’t play too safe, we’ll score goals and as long as we score, the mountain for Napoli to climb gets bigger.
    Anyways, I’m hopeful we’re going to the Semi’s.
    I feel bad for Slavia Praha though, they deserved three points and nothing less.
    Oh I’m back bítches!!??

  8. Good win….. it’s nice to have Torreira back….. and I hope Koulibaly would continue scoring for us next season ?. If we play like this against Watford, they’re toast.

    1. I forgot to add…. I was impressed with everyone today…… but someone has to tell Kolasinac that he doesn’t always have to reach the by-line before releasing his cross….. AMN was brilliant today… I wonder why or how he was crap against Everton. Anyways let’s crush Watford ‘s cojones come Monday…. COYG !

  9. Excellent performance (especially the 1st half) so glad Torreira’s back… he was brilliant… another goal from Rambo ? he was brilliant too..
    Next week won’t be easy.. they may well score, but they have to stop us from scoring too ? COYG..

    1. Evening sue, hope you’re well? Very pleased with tonights performance. The 3 in the middle exceptional. The tie is still live, but think we can score out there. Come on the gunners

      1. Hi Paul, all good thanks. Hope you are too.. and Henry!
        If only we could play like that every week hey?!
        All set up for a very exciting night next Thursday!

        Got to keep Deulofeu & Troy’s cojones quiet on Monday first…..

        1. Yeah all good. Henry well thanks. Have the week off with him next week so it’s all good.

          Let’s hope they keep their cojones in check next week. 2 away wins is my prediction, will be back on to enjoy my bold predictions this time next week ?

          1. Have a great week off Paul… well we’ve got to win away sooner or later haven’t we ?? although sooner would be nice ??

  10. Is anyone else worried about Napoli’s long balls? The second half seemed like that was all they were doing, but luckily we were catching them offside. My thoughts for the second leg, is not press as high, but obviously press enough for us to force mistakes like tonight. I’d have the defence push back a little, and not have both our midfielders go up as high. Maybe one goes up far while the other stays at the half way line. Just a thought

  11. I would have liked 3 and we had the chances to do that. We rode our luck at times but I’ll take that result. But we have to look at Monreal, he was exposed several times. Iwobi offered nothing nor did Elneny. Great first half performance by all, but we have to do it all again.

    1. Monreals finished

      Monreal, welbeck, elneny, mustafi, Ramsey that’s alot of players leaving the summer, I wonder how we’re gonna plug the gaps with a 50m budget. Time will tell. Ozil was fabulous today as well, he made quite a few interceptions too which was refreshing

  12. we didnt kill the game now we will be very sorry in Napoli another thing we didnt have any strikers we lost a lots of chances for a 5 -1 nothing is definitive difficult but not impossible …

  13. I feel alittle sad that my prediction of a hiding did not actually materialise. It would have been nice to hand them at least a 3-0 bashing. But then 2-0 is not a tragedy if we put in the shift in Naples.

    I will imagine that those who were always on Ramsey’s back will hide their faces now. Be careful what you wish for. He is gone now. You don’t know the value of what you have until you lose it. So it seems Arsene Wenger was right to have retained him all the while. Or else how would Juve elect to pay him so much dosh if he is so rubbish as some would want us to believe. Now we know better, but unfortunately the guy has slipped thru our fingers for nothing.

    Some people should be kicked…

  14. Still an open tie and who knows what will happen away from home. getting another goal would’ve put us in a comfortable position, but 2-0 for now is very positive. One away goal forces them to score 4 goals to advance. Let’s hope we are not that bad away from home. But positive start to this tie. Good luck to us finding a Ramsey replacement btw. Our only consistent big game player.

  15. People who say that we should have scored a third goal to put the tie to bed needs some perspective.
    This is same Napoli that Liverpool struggled to win at Anfield. We should stop talking about coulda woulda shoulda, stop being ingrates and just appreciate the efforts our boys put in tonight, especially the Koscielny marshalled defense, who did so well to secure us a clean sheet, and our little Uruguayan magician who had a metronomic game today.
    Even a 3-1 loss to Napoli in Naples would still see us advance. I’m confident we will make the semis.

  16. I was at the game today what a result… only negative was as I was screaming for our team guy infront told me to quite down as I was being to loud…. what the he’ll? He then went on to say he’s a season ticket holder to which I replied that is our problem… stadium gets full of people who are not actually supporters… still enjoyed the night out but this comment but a slight dip to my other wise perfect evening

  17. Great effort and result. The importance of Torreira was shown on his return; MOTM performance. I am looking forward to the return of Xhaka in the next match. Koscielny and Socrates were solid as CB’s.
    The worry is the drying up of goals from Aubameyang maybe due to his impact of his recent virus. Arsenal need an early away goal at Napoli and hopefully job done.

  18. There are two games involved……we won one …..next Watford.,….then Napoli……now I’m celebrating with my bottle of orijin beer…….we win the Europa title …….or at least make the final folks……

  19. Some of the comments are mind boggling
    1. I am happy with Aubameyang and Lacazette. Replacements are ridiculous. We need to replace a lot of starters but not those two
    2. 2-0 does not make us safe but at least we go to Napoli with a 2-0 lead which makes us favourites

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs