Arsenal’s season has been a long and complicated one, and that’s putting it lightly. The Gunners have enjoyed the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and it feels like there are plenty more of both to come in the last few weeks. The club are still competing on two different fronts in both the Europa League and the Premier League, and let’s face it, the one and only end goal is going to be Champions League qualification.
In the Premier League they’ve got to contend with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United all trying to leapfrog them into either third or fourth, whereas in the Europa League, they’ve only got to get through five games in order to lift the trophy. That may seem pretty simple and not all too bad – until you realise that their quarter final tie is going to come against Napoli.
The Italian side are quite easily the second best team in Italian football, and that’s been the case for a while now. Their fans won’t be happy about the fact that they’re contending the latter stages of the Europa League instead of the Champions League, but at this point, all they should be thinking about is the fact that a trophy is going to be up for grabs for the winner. With that in mind, and with their first leg being just a few days away, we thought that we’d take a look at their previous two encounters.
Arsenal 2-0 Napoli – October 2013
In the first of their two encounters in the group stage of the Champions League, Arsenal managed to ease towards a really nice win over Napoli at the Emirates. Mesut Ozil opened the scoring after just eight minutes before Olivier Giroud added a second in the 15th, and from that point on, they were able to keep the visitors at bay to pick up an impressive three points.
Napoli 2-0 Arsenal – December 2013
In a turn of fortunes, the Gunners were on the receiving end of a loss to the very same team just a few months later. This time, though, they left it late, with Higuain opening the scoring in the 73rd minute. A Mikel Arteta red card put them even more on the back foot than usual, before Callejon secured the three points with just seconds remaining in the game.
Do you think that Arsenal will be able to avoid conceding an away goal against Napoli this weekend?