In a heavyweight clash in the Europa League, Arsenal came out on top as the Gunners thrashed Italian giants Napoli in the first leg of the quarterfinals at the Emirates Stadium in London. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored and Lucas Torreira saw a shot deflected early in the first half as the Gunners ran riot against a clueless Napoli side.
With the score reading at 2-0 at the end of 90-minutes, the scoreline could have been way more different, given the chances Arsenal squandered. They had a total of 16 shots, with 7 on target. Ramsey had plenty of chances along with forward Alexandre Lacazette missing a few as well, which could have seen Arsenal go big.
With coach Unai Emery bringing in Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang together along with Mesut Ozil in the starting XI with Petr Cech at goal, the Gunners went big and nearly gave their all in the first half itself.
While Napoli striker Lorenzo Insigne was mostly found offside, Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues had a tough time till the second half when Arsenal started to slow down. Mertens had an open chance missed with a beautiful cross from Insigne while Piotr Zielinski missed a sitter to give the visitors an away goal.
Arsenal were running on empty in the latter part of the second half which can prove costly for the Gunners in the second leg of the quarters clash.
Coach Emery was highly impressed by Welsh midfielder Ramsey’s performance and his commitment towards the club.
Awesome. Awesome, his [Ramsey] performances in this moment for us,” Emery told reporters after the match. “I think he wants to do something important with us.
“To help us do something important because, I think, he feels a lot for Arsenal as a club. And when he’s here with our supporters he gives us more than all he can and gives us the best performance. Not individually, but thinking in the collective.
“I want to enjoy this moment with him. I want to do something important in this moment with him. His focus now is very much thinking for Arsenal only.”
The Welshman is on his way to join Napoli’s rivals, Juventus this summer. Despite the transfer, Ramsey has been highly committed in his performances and recently been in front of goal.
Arsenal next face Watford in the Premier League before they head to Naples for the second leg of the quarters clash.