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Napoli 0-1 Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette goal secures Gunners Semi-Final tie

This was supposed to be far more excruciating than it turned out to be in one of European football’s most vociferous grounds.

The Stadio San Paolo was pulsating with noise before the start, by the end it resembled a morgue as Arsenal, with their chests puffed out, stood tall.

The Londoners will have left wondering what all the fuss was about as Alexandre Lacazette’s free kick capped what was largely a comfortable night for the Gunners.

Emery vowed to be bold during his pre-match press briefing, not that many believed him.

The Spaniard’s level-headed reputation proceeds him. His balanced outlook a far-cry from Arsene Wenger’s idealist attacking mindset.

It’s why Arsenal are in significantly better shape than they were during those mediocre final seasons under the Frenchman – this win further underling the progress that has been made under his tutelage.

And – even with a two goal cushion from the first leg – Emery stayed true to his word by starting both Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in an attacking line-up

Credit to the Spaniard, his starting XI was daring and courageous – everything he’d promised to be 24 hours prior.

Fortune favours the brave, and so it proved here in Naples.

MATCH FACTS AND STATS

Napoli: Meret, Maksimovic (Mertens 45), Chiriches, Koulibaly, Ghoulam (Rui 70), Callejon, Allan, Fabian, Zielinski, Milik, Insigne (Younes 60). 

Subs: Ospina, Malcuit, Rui, Verdi, Hysaj

Arsenal: Cech, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka (Elneny 60), Kolasinac, Ramsey (Mkhitaryan 34), Lacazette (Iwobi 68), Aubameyang. 

Subs: Leno, Ozil, Mustafi, Guendouzi.

Goals: Lacazette 36 

Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania)

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