Arsenal proved themselves worthy of their spot in the Europa League semi-final tonight, earning a 1-0 win in Italy.
Napoli started the night needing to overturn a 2-0 loss at the Emirates, and that task was always going to be tough as they feared the damage of what would be a painful away goal.
The hosts worst fears were answered when Alexandre Lacazette made his mark with a classic free-kick, with the goalkeeper being tricked into thinking he was shooting over the wall into the top left, only for him to power it into the opposite side of the goal.
The Azzurri tried to pick themselves up and push for an equaliser to try and get themselves some impetus as they chased a now-needed four goals, but our side was focussed and the Italians were limited to very few dangerous opportunities.
As soon as I saw the midfield pairing of Xhaka and Torreira, with a back three and Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles to boot, it was clear that we were not going to be giving much away, and the tactics were spot on. Napoli ran out of ideas early on, and besides the actual goal, the next best opportunity also fell to us (up to this minute I still have no idea how Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to beat the keeper from the penalty spot).
The final whistle blows with us having won both legs to nil, and there will be no easy games left in the competition (Chelsea have already had all of those!).
The only negative to come from tonight is the loss of Aaron Ramsey to injury. He looks like he may have played his last game for our side, and it would have been a blessing to have had him available as we look to win this competition.
On we go.
Who was your man of the match? How much will we miss Ramsey for the rest of the PL and EL campaigns?
Arsenal should use two wide forwards again in the next away match, because it is highly effective in pressing high up the pitch. It could be in the 3-4-1-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 formation
Other top European teams utilize two inverted wingers or wide forwards to cut inside and shoot from the wings, such as Barcelona (Messi/ Dembele), Man City (Sterling/ Sane) and Liverpool (Salah/ Mane). Arsenal could be more threatening like them by using Aubameyang and Lacazette on the sides, instead of using a lone striker and a no 10
They just need to find a good false-nine or a deep-lying-forward that can be a decoy and a link to the midfield, like Firmino at Liverpool and Kane at Tottenham
Lmao Arsenal fans are so salty tonight, you’d swear we didn’t just cruise our way to the semis
Gabriel and Coquelin up next!
Napoli were so bad. Wow.
Seriously, two wingers are needed who have exceptional close control and can take shots too, and are also pacy. Arsenal provide very little from the flanks.
Better replace the strikers with two inside forwards or inverted wingers with a bag of tricks, pace and excellent first touches
Our strikers have lousy first touches nowadays, remind me of Walcott
Dude we dominated a pretty good Napoli squad that was 1 goal from kicking
Liverpool out of the CL group stage. This was more a masterstroke by Emery
in a competition he OWNS than the Italian side being terrible.
Amazing how Arsenal fans fail to give there side the appropriate plaudits when
they dominate a good team
Great Job Emery and the boys.
Tactics was spot on.
playing the two strikers kept Napoli defense in check.
Kos and Sokratis (the peace maker) dealt with anything thrown at them.
We could have all four English teams in the finals of Europe
The peace maker ? what a character Sokratis is!
He acted as a leader should….. he should be our next captain after Koscielny…… happy with the win….. but on a side note, who else think our striker’s performances have been sub par lately…. especially Aubameyang….. I hope they regain form really soon…. because we’re going to need them badly for the remainder of the season
Aubameyang looks like he needs a 5-hour Energy half the time. And needs to do better with taking his first opportunity of matches. Lacazette has been consistently scoring and assisting all season. Decent pressing today though from him even if his touch wasn’t as great as we know it to be. And of course he scored the winner 😀
Laca is a big game player!
He is. For me he is the player of the season. Big moment him scoring that FK.
When you look back at all the teams he’s scored against – ?
AY75… I agree… he does really make me laugh though… I don’t think we have anyone quite like Sokratis ?
Too bad he won’t be available for crystal palace…. I hope Mustafi doesn’t commit an error that will cost us, I dread the thought of Zaha running at him….. we should be able to get the win though… and that’s all that matters…. I’d love for City to hammer Spurs too
We’re going to miss him on Sunday for sure! I don’t even want to think about Mustafi ? at least we’ll have King Koscielny ?
That’s exactly what I want – an absolute annihilation!! Come on City
Evening sue, get in and I am not going to gloat at all and say I predicted this would happen. Kudos to emery ?
Hey Paul… well you took your time ? it was a brilliant result! Another clean sheet! Wow! Well done Paul… prediction for Sunday?
Paul – you’re a prophet! Great one tell me…How many wives will I have?
I will stick to the football. Enjoy your evening sir.
Sorry just got back from the pub. A comfortable night so very happy. Another win by at least 2 clear goals ?
I’ll be happy with that Paul ?
Speak Sunday ?. Enjoy your easter weekend ?
Thanks Paul, you too ?
Arsenal to win the Europa league. We are the gooners.
Defenders stepped up big time today and shut this game down. Napoli were not nearly the threat I thought they would be or were we just that good? Either way, Valencia will definitely offer more of a challenge, but I think we can take them down. COYG! Let’s get to the finals 🙂
@ACE, I really wonder too. It is so easy for some among Arsenal fans to underate Arsenal. This team is good and that is not overating the work or the quality of the boys and their coach. It is nothing to be sniffed at for us to be where we are on the league table or the Europa League. We are that good.
Good job tonight. The last time we were at this stage, we lost out and couldn’t make the final. Now let’s make that right. Let’s go for the cup and kick some butt while doing that.
Can we win the next match and win the cup this time around? Yes we can!
Arsenal are beginning to keep clean sheets away from home, congrats on ur semi- final ticket, next is crystal palace, COYG
two clean sheets away from home in important games. Let’s hope we are turning a corner at the right time. Anyone know how bad Suarez’s injury is since we are now missing Ramsey?
Proud of the boys tonight .A futur winner performance
Good win… Keeping the away syndrome in check with a clean sheet… Our loss of ball possessions was largely caused by Cech… kicking the ball to the forward player who are never going to win it… It really frustrating to see… I can’t wait for him to retire
He seemed to be instructed to distribute with long balls, to frustate Napoli out and to avoid Napoli’s high pressing in Arsenal’s defense area
Doesn’t seems so to me… That is his nature right from chealshit days…we would have had more chances if we get on the ball
If he can’t execute short passes I’d rather not even see him try though. Had some good saves today which is what really matters. If we get into the finals, I hope Emery switches keepers, but many managers think that is bad luck to do.
Boring game but good result…damn, the best sit on the stadium was elnenys sit on the second half…how can a professional team, and one who names itself like one of the best of the world (one of the richiest, that’s for sure) can have a player like him on their lines???
Arsenal needed more boring games under Wenger. Emery is teaching this squad how to control a match. Just found out we are the only team besides Juventus to beat Napoli at their stadium this season. Emery had a game plan and the players produced. Let’s hope we can finish EPL this strong too.
Elneny has never got regular chance to start at Arsenal
He used to be able to produce sharp through balls when playing with more frequently under Wenger. But his playing time is very limited in this season and he becomes rusty
That because he doesn’t merit it… You got to earn it with lively performances… Not running about like a headless chicken
Whats Ozils excuse then
Not gona bash anyone tonight. The Italian job is done. Great defensive work from our defenders, especially Sokratis, Koscielny & Torreira…. And finally, what a goal from Lacazette, damn!
Happy. We won. Yet some people will say Napoli were poor. Who made them poor? Better play of Arsenal players.
We are Arsenal. Forward we go. The trophy, we win. Third place? We’ll occupy on EPL table.
Good win lads.
Superb goal and great result but someone please tell me, what is the point of Iwobi and while you’re at it, explain what Elneny and Mhiki bring to the team?
I have the same questions. We are carrying these players.
I was thinking exactly the same thing GB…
Elneny was used only to give key players a rest til the Palace match, with the tie already won. . Mkhi? I would have even preferred even Iwobi to come on for Ramsey instead of Mkhi . He was never going to play OZIL and that was correct in this game. But he will start against Palace and should too. THAT is how poorly I rate the lazy and ineffective Mkhi, who has skill but shares Walcotts jellyfish type backbone. I really hope and think Mkhi will be gone by next season. But overall a great team performance!
@GB Maybe iwobi isn’t first team quality but he runs his socks off and is a good squad player. I honestly can’t tell u what the other 2 bring to the table, they’re robbing us of wages
Defence has been so astute lately, her proud besides the Everton we’ve kept 7 cleansheets in 8 games. Massive turnaround. Don’t see Emery not lifting his 4th Europa league trophy. #Genius
I agree with you Malik
It shows you when we have the 2 strikers on we are hard to play against. Well done, great result and delighted to get to the semi-finals.
MotM for me was definitely Kos, with Sokratis next. A most disciplined perf by all but the man of the club and by a million miles too is our esteemed manager, who despite what that fool jah son regularly posts, has been the single outstanding Arsenal employee this season. To get us where we are with a squad way worse than any of our top six rivals is magnificent and way, way above what any of us had any right to expect. Hope you are feeling shameful tonight jah son and any other of your idiot sort. I have regularly lauded Emery all season and defended this great manager from the myriad daft comments from some who are too stupidly blind to see the light he is throwing all across our club. THAT DOES NOT MEAN HE HAS NOT MADE MISTAKES; HE HAS, BUT THEY ARE WAY LESS THAN THE MANY THINGS HE REGULARLY GETS SPOT ON. Be TRULY thankful we have him!
Emery is the man. Let’s get back into UCL jon! And win this tournament 🙂
And yes, we have so many sub-par players and Emery is still hitting his target. Please get this man a big transfer budget!!!
Thank you, jon. Unai Emery deserves all the credit you give him.
Spot on J Fox, In Emery We Definitely Trust!!
Fantastic write up… Sign up Emery is the Best decision so far… And I don’t see any coach who can do better with what he’s got…
Players I want out… I wish they could move right away
CHEC gone anyways
Mustaphi if we can get a better replacement
Yeah, I also agree with Jon Fox. Sometimes I look at our performance and think, we’re terrible but we keep getting results. Everyone raves about Tottenham but we’re only a point behind, we could even be third this weekend and this without any doubt is because of Unai Emery. I just hope this guy is given money in the summer to sign the players he wants, surely he’s proven he deserves it.
Excellent points Jon
Considering how old he is and his injuries, Kos has been outstanding recently. A true warrior. I really like Sokratis too and they play well together.
GB I certainly like Sokratis’s attitude but his actual play at top level , taken as a whole, is not of the standard we SHOULD BE attaining to. Great last night, certainly, and I love warriors- that is why I do loathe Walcott and despair at the laziness of Mkhi and most of the time also Ozil, and think that those who do NOT regularly commit 100% are cheating the club and us lot. Actually “us lot” ARE the club. We are it’s soul and blood; be in no doubt of that fact! Without TRUE fans EVERYWHERE, FOOTBALL IS DEAD! It can easily survive the loss of any owner, manager, director, player and even it’s ground BUT never us lot! Oft forgotten by many, so I remind those people on here.
AMN is really impressing these last couple of weeks. Exceptionally composed. If he keeps it up, our right side might be sorted for years to come with him playing in front of Bellerin.
MOTM for me was Koscielny.
Gutted to think that Ramsey might have kicked his last ball for us. Hopefully it’s not too serious (but still a reminder that Juve are taking a huge gamble in a player whose career has been marred by successive injuries)
Trudeau, It is ALWAYS a gamble,as you rightly say, to keep ANY long term injury prone player and on a long term excessive high waged contract. The return on investment is usually poor. Example Alexis Sanchez now and also Ozil;. Ramsey too. I think we were RIGHT to let him leave – his recent spell is yet another of his many decent spells that NEVER last long. Either, as now, through another tedious injury OR LOSS OF FORM. There comes a time when a proactive club , which we NOW are at long last, HAS to cease behaving like Mr Micawber and “hoping something will turn up” to change things. With older injury prone players that does NOT happen. REALITY!!!
The peace maker…. love it Uzi
Alround a sound performance although Napoli has two very good chances before we scored! If they had scored we could have had a very different game on our hands.
Personally can’t criticise anyone really.
Obviously Aubameyang will be on bench on Sunday after playing 90 minutes in 3 days so maybe we need to consider Nketiah up from alongside Lacazette now Ramsey won’t play to keep players in the box. What do you think? Believe Emery won’t though so maybe…
Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
AMN Goundouzi Xhaka Kolasinac
Ozil Lacazette Iwobi
That looks good to me. Some players need rest.
Great result! Unai Emery ❤️ Laurent Koscielny is a warrior please give that man a new contract ?
I agree… the force was definitely with him last night ??
The force is strong with this lot Sue I sense a great disturbance in the Chelsea camp ?
Love it ? yes how unlucky were Slavia?! Scoring 3 (4 including the OG!) we have to believe now! NLD super cup?! Surely not……
That guy who scored 2 looks good siviceck or something and what a screamer ? Frankfurt will beat Chelsea ? nooooooo it can’t be, it won’t be, it must not be ? I’ve waited my entire life to win a European cup and spurs fans can’t have that dream become a reality before me ?
They’d better beat them!! That would be a very, very dark day indeed Kevin ?
We’ve still got a lot to go for…. it’s exciting & nailbiting ?
Absolutely true I would be devastated if they win CL Sue ? we don’t usually have nailbiting finishes to the season usually our season is finished by now ?
Lacazette to take penalties instead of Aubameyang please for the remaindee of the season!
Final 4 teams
Going to be tough but we can do it