Arsenal played host to a relatively out of form Napoli side led by Carlo Ancelotti on Thursday night in what, on paper, looked to be
Arsenal played host to a relatively out of form Napoli side led by Carlo Ancelotti on Thursday night in what, on paper, looked to be the pick of the Europa League quarter-finals.
The last time the Italian was at the Emirates, he masterminded a 10-2 Bayern Munich aggregate win over Wenger’s Arsenal.
His Napoli side, however, had won only two of their last six games in all competitions, while Arsenal are still fighting for a top four finish and have won three of their last six.
But on the night Napoli put in a ragged performance as Emery’s men delivered an imposing attacking display.
An Aaron Ramsey strike and Kalidou Koulibaly’s own goal ensured the win for the Gunners. Read on for the player ratings from the match.
Petr Cech – 7 – A good display from the veteran Czech, with OK distribution. Accidentally carried the ball over the touchline when he could have kept it in play, but nothing came of it.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos – 7 – An industrious night for the Greek, playing in a right centre-back position.
Laurent Koscielny – 8 – A confident display from the defensive stalwart.
Nacho Monreal – 6 – A solid performance from the Spanish veteran. Headed over the Napoli bar unchallenged from a second-half corner. Napoli found some joy in behind him in the second half, though.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8 – The youngster played a pivotal part in Ramsey’s opening salvo and looked composed on the night. A mature display.
Lucas Torreira – 9 – A scuttling constant as ever, battling and tidying up when needed. Arsenal’s second goal was entirely of his making, with Torreira ratting about behind Rui before beating his next man and slamming the ball into Koulibaly’s legs, getting a fortunate deflection.
Aaron Ramsey – 9 – Arsenal’s most consistently dangerous attacker, scored in the 14th minute with a nice finish after a great Arsenal move. With his second goal in eight games, the Welshman showed tonight why Juventus moved for his signature. Could have been a 10 if it wasn’t for his blazing over the top from close range late on.
Sead Kolasinac – 8 – A confident performance from the Arsenal man, showing ingenuity in his passing and progressive running.
Mesut Özil – 6 – The German was cute on the ball as you would expect. Part of the move for the first goal, but less involved than the other attackers. and was subbed off for Mkhitaryan.
Alexandre Lacazette – 8 –Played a part in Ramsey’s opener, and linked with his fellow forwards silkily as ever. Subbed off.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – Arsenal’s main man up top put in a shift for his side as they ran out 2-0 winners, forcing Meret into a number of smart saves.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6 – Showed composure on the ball late on. Should have got an assist only for Ramsey to blaze over the top.
Alex Iwobi – 6 – Brought energy and speed to his wing.
Mohamed Elneny – 5 – Came on late to shore up the game for the Gunners.
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Alex Meret – 8 – Could do little to stop the Gunners’ goals, but showed his shot-stopping ability with some quality saves.
Elseid Hysaj – 6 – Under pressure from Arsenal’s scampering attackers throughout, misplacing some passes.
Nikola Maksimovic – 6 – An understated night for the defender in a tough European away fixture.
Kalidou Koulibaly – 7 – A presence at the back for the Partenopei, blocking an Aaron Ramsey from close range and marshalling Arsenal’s attacking talent but unable to stop the Gunners’ fluid attacking moves. Unfortunate with the own goal.
Mário Rui – 6 – A mixed night in the engine room for Mario Rui. It was he who lost the ball to Torreira for the second.
Jose Callejón – 6 – Napoli’s veteran creator couldn’t pick the lock for Ancelotti’s side.
Allan – 5 – Part of a Napoli midfield misplacing passes persistently in the first half. Marginally improved in the second half.
Fabian Ruiz – 5 – Some good incisive forward passing at times, showing why he’ll be part of the Spanish national team in upcoming fixtures. Also guilty of profligate passing.
Piotr Zielinski – 4 – A danger at times but often lacking the required composure on the ball. A weak link in the team on the night, missing a great chance in the 72nd minute when he might have gone with his left foot and not his right.
Dries Mertens – 6 – Put the ball in the back of the net but well offside in the opening 10 minutes. Sloppy at times with the ball at his feet. Always threatening in possession, however, before his withdrawal in the second half.
Lorenzo Insigne – 6 – Napoli’s hitman showed the rust of a player who’s missed two weeks of football. Blazed high over the bar from 18-yards out in the first half and found the net in the second only to be ruled offside. Consistently offside.
Arkadiusz Milik – 5 – Could do little to change the game for Napoli.
Adam Ounas – 6 – A lively addition for Napoli, almost getting his side back into the game with a late flourish.