It was a night of triumph for Arsenal in the Europa League against one of the powerhouses of Europen football in the form of Napoli. The Gunners kept their good run in the European competition intact and notched up a 1-0 win against the Serie A giants in their own backyard after defeating them by 2-0 in the first leg of the matchup.
The only goal of the match was scored by Alexandre Lacazette in the 36th minute from a well-taken free kick. However, the main highlight of the match was the unfortunate departure of midfield ace Aaron Ramsey due to an apparent hamstring injury, who limped off the pitch in the 41st minute. It would be a real headache for Unai Emery to lose his prime weapon in the midfield with the business end of the season still left.
Here is how the Arsenal players were rated from their win against Napoli.
Petr Cech: 7
Had to make only a couple of saves as most of the Napoli players looked completely out of touch and wasteful while in front of the goal. Spared Monreal a moment of embarrassment towards the end of the match.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 7
Did very well to keep the opposition strikers quiet for most of the times. Made some good interceptions as well.
Laurent Koscielny: 8
He was a rock in defence and the Arsenal captain’s presence is especially felt when he misses out games with injuries. Made sure that nothing went past him on the night. Led the defence with absolute aplomb.
Nacho Monreal: 7
Dished out a solid performance in the heart of the backline in a makeshift role. Could have been the unlikely hero for Napoli with an embarrassing own goal but for Cech.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5
Kept vying for the ball in the middle of the pitch well. Looked a little off colour in the second half and was substituted.
Lucas Torreira: 7
An absolute powerhouse in the midfield. Vied for the ball and won it in most cases. Played some delightful passes to initiate attacks from the midfield as well.
Sead Kolasinac: 6
Ran down the pitch on the left-hand side quite a few times but could not deliver any telling crosses into the box. Backtracking was not very convincing as well.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6.5
Had a rather busy first half as he took on the Napoli defenders with his darting runs down the right flank. Looked a lot less threatening in the second half though.
Aaron Ramsey: 6
An unfortunate end to what could have been a great evening for the enigmatic Welshman. Picked up an injury in the 41st minute and could not recover from it as he had to limp off the pitch. However, during his stay on the field, the linkup play between him and Torreira and at times with Kolasinac was good enough to threaten the opposition defence on several occasions. We wish him an early recovery as we really don’t want this to be his last match in Arsenal colours.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7
After a sedate opening spell in the match, the Frenchman gradually came into his own as the game progressed. Scored a great goal with a pinpoint free kick to ensure safe passage for his side into the semifinal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6
Looked rather wasteful in front of the goal. Worked hard to get the better of the opposition defence and could have had a goal to his name in the second half but his effort was saved by the opposition goalkeeper.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 6.5
Lacked the pace that Ramsey generated after he came on for the Welshman. Played some accurate passes to initiate attacks for his side though.
Mohamed Elneny: 6
Did well after coming on for Xhaka. Nothing flashy but made sure that there were no gaps in midfield for Napoli to exploit.
Alex Iwobi: 5
Nothing special from the winger apart from hitting the post once, that too after he was flagged offside.