The rest of the Premier League have had their say on proceedings throughout the course of the weekend, and tonight, it’s time for Arsenal to step up to the plate. They’ll be playing on Monday Night Football this evening, as they attempt to springboard their way back into the top four – and back into contention for a Champions League spot. However, this isn’t the only game that they’ll be playing this week, as Gunners fans around the world gear up for what should be an incredibly busy schedule.
Arsenal managed to register one of their most important results of the season so far last night, as they defeated Napoli 2-0 in the first leg of their Europa League quarter final tie. It was a comprehensive victory over the Italian side from the first whistle until the very last, and because of that, there have been some mixed reactions to the game from Gunners fans. Before kick off 99% of supporters would’ve bitten your hand off if you offered them a 2-0 win, but now, that mentality seems to have shifted.
As reported by BBC Sport, the victory over Napoli last night appears to have been dampened by the actions of idiots – and that’s the only real way of putting this, to be perfectly honest. You see, despite the fact that we currently find ourselves in the year 2019, there are some people that just refuse to be progressive in any way, shape or form. Case in point: Arsenal are investigating reports that racial abuse was directed towards Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly last night.
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.
- The Gunners knocked out CSKA Moscow at this stage of the Europa League last season (6-3 on aggregate) before falling to Atletico Madrid in the semi finals.
- The stage doesn’t matter because, to us, this is the same as the Atletico game – just at a different stage. Their games in this competition won’t get much harder than this one on paper, and they need to remain focused.
- Arsenal have been beaten just once in their last 17 home games in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (W12 D4) – losing 1-2 to Ostersunds FK in the last 32 in 2017-18.
It’s game day folks, as Arsenal gear up to take on a Napoli side that are going to pose them more issues than most teams have throughout the course of the season so far. The Gunners are in a prime position to make a solid run all the way through to the Europa League final, but of course, the Italian side shouldn’t be taken lightly by any stretch of the imagination. It’s going to be a pretty back and forth affair based on the last few encounters these two teams have shared with one another, and generally, it’s pretty easy to predict that given how both teams play.
Ahead of the first leg of Arsenal’s Europa League quarterfinal clash with Napoli, Carlo Ancelotti spoke briefly to Sky Sports before going out for his pre-match press conference.
He firstly made the point that Unai Emery has more experience in this competition than him.
“His past explains his competence and his ability to prepare this kind of games”, he said.
The Gunners’ boss really does have an impressive record when it comes to UEFA’s second-tier club competition, having won it three times in a row with Sevilla.
On Thursday night, Arsenal host Napoli at the Emirates Stadium in the Europa League quarter-final first leg.
Arsenal head into this game on the back of a disappointing 1-0 win at Everton in the Premier League. The defeat ended a three-game winning run for the Gunners in all competitions, with all three victories coming at the Emirates Stadium.
A return to the home soil on Thursday will be a welcome one for Gunners, who have a strong home record of late. Unai Emery’s team has won ten of their last 11 home games in all competitions, including their last seven matches at the Emirates.
Arsenal have little time to dwell on yet another poor away display last time out, which saw the Gunners beaten comfortably 1-0 by Everton at Goodison Park. Instead, the team from north London will turn their attention to Thursday night’s home game against Napoli.
The Europa League quarter-final first leg clash is a must-win one for Unai Emery’s side, mainly due to their inability to win away from home, even against the likes of BATE Borisov.
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.