Arsenal took control of the Europa League last-eight tie by beating Napoli 2-0 in their first leg at the Emirates.
Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torreira were the scorers for the home team, who had enough chances to kill the tie before it went to the San Paolo.
Around the 14th minute, a sublime Arsenal move culminated with Ainsley-Maitland Niles finding Ramsey eight yards from goal unmarked. The Welshman then just put his foot through the ball and give his team the lead.
11 minutes later, Torreira won the ball high up in the midfield and drove into the heart of the Napoli defence. His eventual shot, which was on target, went inwith a big deflection of Kalidou Koulibaly.
Unai Emery’s men had other big chances in the game to increase the scoreline and possibly kill the tie, but they weren’t potent enough.
Napoli’s best chance came in the mid-point of second half when Lorenzo Insigne found Piotr Zielinski free in the box. The latter couldn’t keep his effort down though.
All in all, a fantastic tie in prospect here, with Arsenal having the advantage of scoring two and not conceding an away goal.
Here’s how we rated their performance:
Petr Cech - 6
Didn’t have to make too many saves but was solid throughout. His punches from corner kicks were decisive.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles - 8
Assisted the first goal and was at the heart of every good thing Arsenal did on the right-hand side.
Sokratis - 7
The Greece international was a solid presence at the back. He read the danger well today.
Laurent Koscielny - 7
The captain was back in the line-up and marshalled the back line very well. Arsenal must be happy to see him fit again.
Nacho Monreal - 6
Monreal was solid apart from a couple of moments when Insigne made a run behind him and the Spaniard misjudged the flight of the ball. The best Napoli chance came after one of those misjudgments.
Sead Kolasinac - 6
His runs forward caused problems to Napoli but the final ball quality wasn’t up to the scratch. The defending was scratchy at times.
Lucas Torreira - 8
The Uruguayan won most duels in midfield and kept the team on the front foot. Scored the second goal after winning the ball higher up the pitch. Subbed off in the second half.
Aaron Ramsey - 7
Scored the first Arsenal goal and was a livewire in midfield. He could have killed the tie by scoring a simple chance late on, but got under it.
Mesut Ozil - 7
His movements and work on the ball were causing problems to Napoli. Got tired in the second half and rightly subbed off.
Alexandre Lacazette - 7
He was involved in the build-up of the first goal and tried his best to stretch the Napoli defence. Subbed off later on.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7
The Gabon international’s movements were too hot to handle at times. Missed a good chance in the second half.
(SUB) Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 5
Came on to provide more width to the team and did that for the last 20 minutes.
(SUB) Alex Iwobi - 5
Came on to bring fresh energy to the team on the left wing.
(SUB) Mohamed Elneny - 5
Came on to replace Torreira and did a mopping up job in midfield in the last 10 minutes.