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Arsenal 2-0 Napoli: Aaron Ramsey and Koulibaly own goal give Gunners advantage at home

But under Unai Emery, the Emirates is fast developing an aura. A mystique that is providing the backbone to the season run-in.

They’ve lost just three times at home this campaign — one of those came in the Premier League against Manchester City, the other two in both domestic cup competitions against Tottenham and Manchester United.

Yet again Arsenal demonstrated their newly discovered gusto in their own back-yard, this win against Napoli fully deserved.

One of the most sought after defenders in Europe, the Senegal international quickly asserted himself at the Emirates producing two crucial blocks to deny Ramsey and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in quick succession as Arsenal started with intent.

But there was nothing Koulibaly could do to prevent the hosts taking the lead in the 15th minute.

Once Alexandre Lacazette played the ball through Koulibaly’s legs into Maitland-Niles, the writing was on the wall for Napoli.

The Arsenal academy graduate was cool in executing his pass to Ramsey, who slotted home ruthlessly to fire Arsenal ahead.

Emery’s men deserved their lead. Their start was effervescent and purposeful, but Napoli appeared tentative — even nervous.

Napoli looked to have the situation under wraps as Lucas Torreira drove at their back four after winning the ball in midfield — but his eventual strike from the edge of the box ricocheted off Koulibaly, who after his strong opening wasn’t living up to his reputation, and past the helpless Alex Meret to double Arsenal’s lead.

Arsenal were cruising and judging by Napoli’s apparent anxiety – more opportunities would follow.

ajay
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