Napoli 0-1 Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette seals Europa League semi-final spot

Handiest two of Alexandre Lacazette’s past 11 targets salvage approach a long way flung from Emirates Stadium

Petr Cech says Arsenal made a “very refined” outing to Napoli “stumble on straightforward” as they reached the Europa League semi-finals with a 3-0 aggregate victory.

Alexandre Lacazette’s first-half free-kick into the pause nook sealed the win after the hosts had loved the easier of the early chances.

“We controlled the sport truly neatly and defended truly neatly too,” acknowledged Cech.

Arsenal are scheduled to host Valencia within the most most important leg of their semi-final on Thursday 2 Can even (20:00 BST).

Gunners goalkeeper Cech, who’s retiring as a participant this summer, saved neatly from Jose Callejon, while Arkadiusz Milik had a perform dominated out for offside, however in some other case the Serie A side struggled to invent an influence.

Cech added: “Napoli are a graceful crew who consistently ranking loads of targets, particularly right here at house, so as to take two shipshape sheets is obviously something [positive].

“It used to be an awfully refined sport however we made it stumble on less complicated because we played truly neatly.”

It ensured a relaxed night’s work for the Gunners as Unai Emery marked his 50th sport as their supervisor.

Arsenal, who arrived on the Stadio San Paolo with a 2-0 lead from the most most important leg in London, might maybe presumably also salvage doubled their margin of victory on the night however house goalkeeper Alex Meret beautifully saved from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the ruin.

The excellent negative ingredient of the evening for Arsenal used to be Aaron Ramseyhobbling off witha suspected hamstring injury.

The Wales midfielder used to be withdrawn within the most most important half and will salvage to be a doubt for the membership’s final fixtures sooner than his summer transfer to Juventus.

Emery’s tactical masterclass

When it involves the Europa League knockout phases, Emery has an unmatched managerial fable – 26 wins.

And his technology from a hit the match in three consecutive years (2013-14 to 2015-16) while supervisor of La Liga facet Sevilla came to the fore in this 2d leg.

Whereas the 2-0 relief from the most most important leg at Emirates Stadium gave Arsenal room for manoeuvre, there salvage been few thoughts of merely playing to contain their opponents.

Deploying a three-man defence allowed them to on the starting place steal the sport to their hosts as Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac pressed forward and Lucas Torreira and Ramsey controlled complaints in midfield.

Napoli did answer however Lacazette’s perform signalled the pause of the house rigidity and settled any lingering Arsenal nerves.

It left Carlo Ancelotti’s facet needing to ranking four cases and maintained the Gunners’ fable of scoring early on their travels – 16 of their past 18 away targets salvage been within the most most important half.

With the cushion of their away perform, Arsenal deployed men on the lend a hand of the ball within the 2d length, allowing Napoli possession however few chances – with Lorenzo Insigne’s tame effort the hosts’ handiest shot heading within the correct route.

Napoli’s lacking whisk

Whereas Emery used to be a hit the most most important of his three Europa League crowns, Carlo Ancelotti used to be guiding Exact Madrid to Champions League success.

But after this defeat, the Italian will salvage to avoid losing thoughts of becoming handiest the seventh supervisor to win each and every of European soccer’s most most important membership competitions to the lend a hand of his thoughts.

Handiest Udo Lattek, Bob Paisley, Giovanni Trapattoni, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez had executed that feat beforehand and while Ancelotti’s facet embraced his instructions to play with “depth and heart”, there used to be an absence of quality from their efficiency.

At cases, they barely resembled the facet with the whisk of Serie A’s third-perfect scorers, on the lend a hand of Juventus and Atalanta.

Callejon disregarded a golden substitute to ranking the sport’s opening perform – firing straight at Cech after a surging forward flee from Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

Poland forward Milik used to be additionally wasteful in front of perform, failing to register an effort heading within the correct route despite being presented with two free headers in front of the Arsenal perform that must salvage introduced extra.

And it ensured their Europa League advertising and marketing campaign ended in an underwhelming trend.

Man of the match – Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Alexandre Lacazette’s perform used to be the most most important free-kick scored by an Arsenal participant in Europe since Thierry Henry in opposition to Roma in 2002-03

‘In most cases this might increasingly be some weeks out’- what they acknowledged

Arsenal boss Unai Emery, talking to BT Sport:“I am relaxed with the players. We began thoroughly. The most most important half used to be just because after we scored we continued now to not present them alternatives. We defended neatly within the 2d half. In the 2 suits, we’re going to be in a position to also be contented to win in opposition to Napoli.”

On semi-final opponents Valencia:“They are an awfully just crew with just players. This might maybe presumably be a complex match for us.”

On Aaron Ramsey:“It’s a long way a muscular injury. In most cases this might increasingly be some weeks out for him. But now we salvage varied players and we can procure a efficiency and rotate players.”

Requested if Ramsey has played his final sport for Arsenal:“I do not know.”

Napoli supervisor Carlo Ancelotti, talking to BT Sport:“I judge that we are no longer contented of course however within the 2 games where we didn’t too neatly used to be the most most important 20 minutes within the most most important sport.

“We tried nowadays. The most most important perform made it practically no longer skill. We important to ranking four targets and lost self assurance. We important to ranking mercurial. We had two alternatives.

“Arsenal are a just crew, so it used to be refined however now we salvage to search out forward. Till the Arsenal perform we did a just sport.”

Resolute Arsenal – the stats

  • Arsenal salvage kept nine shipshape sheets of their past 11 European games, conceding perfect four targets in that length.
  • Napoli salvage long past out of two European competitions this season after defeats by Premier League golf equipment – they exited the Champions League on the community stage after shedding 1-0 at Liverpool in December.
  • The Italian facet salvage lost three consecutive European games for the most most important time since February 2013.
  • No Premier League facet has scored extra targets by means of train free-kicks in all competitions this season than Arsenal (four, degree with Chelsea).
  • Arsenal posted a 30.3% possession figure in opposition to Napoli, their lowest such figure in any competition since February 2017 (25.7% v Bayern Munich within the Champions League).
  • Unai Emery has now won 26 suits within the Europa League knockout phases – bigger than any varied supervisor.
  • Since his debut for Arsenal in August 2017, Alexandre Lacazette has had a hand in 46 targets in all competitions (33 targets, 13 assists), bigger than any varied participant for the membership.
  • Lacazette is the most most important Arsenal participant to ranking in Europe with an instantaneous free-kick since Thierry Henry in opposition to Roma in 2002-03.

What’s next?

Arsenal host Crystal Palace within the Premier League on Sunday 21 April (16:00 BST).

Read More