Arsenal recorded a very impressive 2-0 home win over Napoli at the Emirates Stadium in the Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday night. The game looked like a tough one, but a strike from Aaron Ramsey and an own goal from Kalidou Koulibaly gave the Gunners the victory.
Although the result was a positive one, it could have been far more comfortable as the team from north London missed a number of chances against the Italian side. There is now a feeling that Unai Emery’s side could live to regret their misses.
Is the lead enough to take Arsenal through?
Such is the Gunners terrible recent away record that many are asking if the two-goal lead will be enough. Emery’s team has recorded just two away victories in their last 12 games. Those two away wins were at lower league Blackpool and Premier League’s rock bottom outfit Huddersfield.
Both teams are a world away from Napoli. The Italians struggled at the Emirates Stadium, but on home soil back in Naples will be a different story. Carlo Ancelotti’s side has lost just once in 27 matches at San Paolo in all competitions.
They have also failed to score in just two of their last 37 home games in all competitions. Considering Arsenal’s defensive record on their travels, that record seems unlikely to change in next weeks second leg.
Arsenal one of the favourites to win the Europa League
Arsenal are underdogs to win in Naples, which is understandable considering the Gunners atrocious record on their travels. However, Unai Emery’s team are one of the favourites to win the Europa League at odds of 3/1, with only Chelsea shorter odds to lift the trophy next May.
Napoli look to have a big challenge on their hands turning the tie round in the second leg. A two-goal lead should be considered a fairly good one taking into a second leg away from home.
However, it is hard not to be nervous for the Arsenal for their second leg in Naples simply because of their woeful recent away performances. Last time out at Everton, the Gunners could have conceded four five goals instead of one.
Napoli are unlikely to be as wasteful as the Toffees. Hopefully, the Gunners will not live to regret those missed chances in the first leg, as we now know anything can happen in Arsenal’s away games.
Could Arsenal regret missed chances against Napoli?