The quarter-finals of this year’s edition of the UEFA Europa League couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for Arsenal.
They dominated the first leg of their tie with Napoli on Thursday night, winning the match by a 2-0 final score.
Their home win at Emirates Stadium gives them a strong advantage going into the second leg of the draw in Italy next Thursday.
Coach Unai Emery and Arsenal have been inconsistent and sometimes frustrating throughout the 2018-19 campaign, but their win on Thursday was reminiscent of some of the glorious nights that they’ve experienced in the past in European competitions.
Napoli didn’t have an answer for Arsenal’s attack nor its strong defense, and now must climb out of a big hole if they are to advance past this round.
Arsenal came out and took an early lead in the 15th minute of the match. Aaron Ramsey was given a pass by Ainsley Maitland-Niles and the Gunners midfielder gave his team an early 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Arsenal to score its second goal and double its advantage after that.
Lucas Torreira curled himself through the Napoli defense and took a shot that ricocheted off of Kalidou Koulibaly and into the net.
This gave the Gunners a 2-0 edge that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Arsenal closed out their win to thunderous cheers and applause by the home crowd.
They’ll now look to seal the deal in Italy next weekend.