Oct 1, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-0
Napoli
Ozil (8'), Giroud (15')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-0 Napoli - as it happened

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal against Napoli during their Champions League group match on October 1, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live text coverage of the Champions League Group F match between Arsenal and Napoli at the Emirates.

Arsenal produced a scintillating performance to make it 10 wins in a row this evening, beating Napoli 2-0 in the Champions League.

The Gunners took the lead after just eight minutes when Mesut Ozil expertly guided Aaron Ramsey's cross into the top corner with a world-class finish.

Ozil turned provider for the second goal just seven minutes later, reaching the byline before pulling the ball back to Olivier Giroud, who swept home from five yards.

You can read how a majestic night of Champions League action unfolded for the Gunners with Sports Mole's live play-by-play coverage below.


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6.45pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what promises to be a cracking night of football at the Emirates. Two of Europe's most in-form teams come head to head as Arsenal host Napoli for a chance to take control of this season's Champions League group of death.

6.47pmWe'll start by looking at our hosts tonight, and what a run they have been on recently. I think it is fair to say that most supporters felt that talk of a crisis in the immediate aftermath of their 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season was premature, but few would have been expecting them to string together nine consecutive wins since that result.

6.49pmThat is exactly what they have done, however, and it is a run that has catapulted the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table after six games. Their 2-1 win over Swansea City at the weekend was their fifth league win in a row, a streak that also includes victories over Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham, Sunderland and Stoke.

6.51pmThe only minor blip since that disappointing defeat to Villa came in the League Cup when they were held to a draw after 120 minutes by West Bromwich Albion. However, their main priority would have been to progress to the next round and, although they needed penalties, they did exactly that.

6.53pmThey have been good in the Champions League so far too. Their fourth-place finish in last season's Premier League ensured that they needed to qualify for the tournament, but that posed little problems for them as they swept aside Fenerbahce 5-0 on aggregate. They also began the group stage with a win over Marseille last week, which could prove to be a vital three points given the quality of the other teams in Group F.

6.55pmA lot of credit must go to manager Arsene Wenger for putting this string of results together. The Frenchman has come under an increasing amount of scrutiny over the past few years over his failure to win a trophy, but his deadline-day coup of bringing in Mesut Ozil, coupled with the team's fine form, has alleviated the pressure on him for sure.

6.57pmToday marks 17 years exactly since the then relatively unknown Wenger arrived in England to take charge of the Gunners and, while his first eight years were very successful, this latest eight years will go down as a stressful period for him. He will always be among the pantheon of greats to have managed in this country, but you feel that he needs another trophy in order to avoid his reputation being irreversibly damaged.

6.59pmThis side could well be the team to bring him that long-awaited silverware. Wenger has sculpted two or three great teams during his time at the helm of the Gunners, and this current crop of players have shown the sort form that could lead them to becoming his next. They are progressing well in all competitions and, although it is still very early in the season to be talking about trophies, hopes will be higher than at any point in recent years that Arsenal can end their drought this season.

7.01pmOne thing that Wenger has never been able to do in his illustrious career is win a European trophy. He is coming up against a manager this evening in Rafael Benitez who has three to his name. The UEFA Cup with Valencia and the Europa League with Chelsea were memorable triumphs in their own ways, but the one that really sticks in the memory is Liverpool's 2005 Champions League win. In that tournament, Benitez showed just how good a manager he is by taking a quite frankly poor squad to arguably the club's greatest ever achievement.

7.03pmAll of those days are in the past for Benitez, however, and he will have his sights set purely on continuing Napoli's fine start to the current season. The Serie A side have not lost any of their seven games so far, with six wins and a solitary draw - against Sassuolo - to their name.

7.05pmDespite Napoli only sitting second in their domestic league, their start to the season has arguably been even more impressive than Arsenal's. After six games, Napoli have one more point (16) than the Gunners and have that proud unbeaten record still intact.

7.07pmThey do trail Arsenal in Group F at the moment, but that is purely on alphabetical order. Both sides triumphed 2-1 in their opening games, but once again it could be argued that Napoli's result was even better. Marseille are by no means whipping boys, but in a group involving these two sides and Dortmund, you'd expect them to finish bottom. For Napoli to beat Dortmund, who finished as runners-up in the competition last season, in their curtain raiser was a major scalp for Benitez's side.

7.09pmNapoli are certainly a team on the rise, certainly better than their UEFA club coefficient rank of 46th in Europe. That is 40 below Arsenal, but not even Wenger would argue that Napoli are that far behind the Gunners in quality. He knows that this will be a very good match between two very good teams in top form.

7.11pmThe Italian side were disappointing in Europe last season, however. They only managed to reach the last 32 of the Europa League, being thrashed 5-0 on aggregate by Viktoria Plzen in what was an inauspicious end to their continental experience that year. They did fare better in Serie A, however, record a second place finish that was their highest since 1989-90, when they won the Scudetto.

7.13pmTEAM NEWS: Right, time to bring you some team news I think! There is pretty big news from both camps, so we'll start with Arsenal who welcome Thomas Rosicky back into the starting lineup after he recovered from a hamstring injury. Jack Wilshere drops to the bench, with Arteta, Flamini, Ozil and the free-scoring Ramsey completing the midfield. For Napoli, there is noticeably no Gonzalo Higuain, who has failed to recover from injury in time. Full teams news for both sides coming right up.

7.15pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil; Giroud

7.16pmARSENAL SUBS: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Jenkinson, Wilshere, Gnabry, Bendtner

7.17pmNAPOLI STARTING XI: Reina; Mesto, Albiol, Britos, Zuniga; Inler, Behrami; Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne; Pandev

7.18pmNAPOLI SUBS: Rafael, Mertens, Dzemaili, Armero, Cannavaro, Zapata, Fernandez

7.20pmSo, what can we make of those two teams? Well, it is a slight surprise to see Rosicky return straight into the starting lineup from injury, but the Czech was always in with a shot of being named in the first XI. The biggest shock is that of Wilshere on the bench, with Wenger presumably cautious of his patchy injury record in recent years. With the wealth of midfielders that he has at his disposal, he is fortunate not to lose too much quality when resting someone like Wilshere.

7.22pmIt is still a very good midfield that Arsenal are able to name, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that they have been the main reason for Arsenal's form of late. Giroud has been scoring goals more often than last season, but the likes of Ozil and Ramsey have certainly been weighing in with goals and assists themselves.

7.24pmSpeaking of Ramsey, it is a mark of how far the midfielder has come that he will be regarded as one of Arsenal's most dangerous players tonight. He is in the form of his life having scored eight goals in his last eight appearances for the Gunners, including one in their last outing against Swansea and another in their 2-1 over Marseille a fortnight ago.

7.26pmAs for Napoli, losing Higuain is a big blow. The former Real Madrid man has made a blistering start to his career at the club, scoring four goals in his opening five games. He came very close to signing for Arsenal during the summer, so it would have been very interesting to see how he fared against the Gunners tonight.

7.28pmEven accounting for Higuain's absence, Napoli have plenty of quality throughout their side. Insigne will probably be the main man to watch for Arsenal as he has the ability to change matches, while Goran Pandev scored twice against Genoa at the weekend to give his side a 2-0 win. Hamsik will also pose problems for Arsenal, so Napoli are by no means lacking in quality.

7.30pmTheir are plenty of sub-plots surrounding this match, most noticeably surrounding the two managers. Benitez returns to London for the first time since his ultimately successful but certainly eventful spell in charge of Chelsea last season, yet he has never won an away game against Arsenal as manager. He has come up against the Gunners nine times, but his record still stands at four draws and five defeats. On the flip side, however, Arsene Wenger hasn't won any of his four Champions League matches against Benitez, drawing two and losing two. One of those records could well give today.

7.32pmMathieu Flamini also has his own history against Napoli having had a very eventful game against them for AC Milan last season. He scored the opening goal for his side before being sent off for a two-footed challenge later in the game.

7.34pmAs for the wider history for these two clubs, Arsenal have an impressive home record against Italian teams in this competition. They have not lost against Italian opposition at home since 2003, when Inter Milan won 1-0 at Highbury. They were, however, thrashed 4-0 by AC Milan as recently as 2012, but that result came in Italy. The Gunners have also managed to keep clean sheets in their last five home games against Italian side, winning four of those matches and drawing one.

7.35pmPREDICTION: We're 10 minutes from kickoff at the Emirates, which means that it is time for my match prediction! This is a tough one to predict as both teams are in such good form. Arsenal do have the home advantage, which may just about give them the edge, but Napoli are the type of team that could still win this match. I think the two sides are fairly evenly matched, so I am going to go for a 2-2 draw to avoid sitting on the fence, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if either side won it!

7.37pmBack to the stats, and I'm afraid I have a worrying one for Napoli, who have never won a Champions League game in England. Granted, they have only played two and one of those was a draw against Manchester City, but they were also beaten 4-1 by Chelsea.

7.39pmSome better news for the Naples-based outfit is that have scored in every single one of the nine Champions League matches that they have played in. They have, however, only won one away match in their short Champions League history.

7.41pmTheir record against English sides is fairly good overall, however. They have played an English team four times in this competition (Manchester City and Chelsea twice each), winning two, drawing one and losing one. Interestingly, they have never played Arsenal in a competitive match although they did face the Gunners in the Emirates Cup this pre-season, when the match ended as a 2-2 draw.

7.43pmThere are, of course, plenty of other matches in the Champions League tonight, and I will keep you up to date with goals as and when they go in from around the continent. Alternatively, you can check out our other live commentaries here, and we even have a brilliant Instagram collage of some of the other stars in action tonight below. Give us a follow!


7.45pmWe're just about ready to go at the Emirates. We look like having a special night of football ahead of us!

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! Arsenal get us underway in what is probably their toughest test of the season so far. Can they keep up their fine form against one of the top teams in Europe?

3 minBright start from the hosts as they dominate the ball and make a few forays into the Napoli third that come to nothing. Nothing much in the opening stages though as both teams look to suss each other out.

5 minMore nice football from the Gunners as Ramsey drifts onto the right wing to link up with Rosicky. The eventual cross is put behind for a corner which Reina collects, but Wenger will be happy with the start his side have made.

7 minNapoli's brightest move yet is cut short by the linesman's offside flag as Insigne tries to get himself into this game. He hasn't managed it yet, but it is still very early days.

8 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Napoli (Mesut Ozil)

8 minWow, that is what they paid all that money for. Ramsey races down the right flank and pulls the ball back to Ozil on the edge of the box. He is fairly open but he still has a lot to do. The German opens his boot and guides a superb finish into the top corner. That was a really, really good finish from him. Top quality football.

10 minSAVE! When Arsenal get going, not many teams can stop them, and they look in the mood at the moment. Ramsey again finds space down the right before passing it inside to Flamini, who sees his low shot saved. He should probably leave the finishing to Ozil based on those last two shots we've seen, but it was worth a go.

12 minThe question does need to be asked where the defence was for Ozil's goal, but it was such a good finish from the German that you can't help but put it down to attacking genius. Benitez will see it as a bad goal to concede, but everyone else will just revel in its glory.

14 minNapoli just can't get their feet on the ball at the moment. Arsenal are playing at a fantastic pace and Napoli just can't deal with it. The Gunners look dangerous whenever they come forward, and Napoli don't seem to be able to get out of their half.

15 minGOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Napoli (Olivier Giroud)

15 minArsenal do seem unstoppable at the moment, but Napoli really aren't helping themselves. A poor attempted clearance gifts the ball to Ozil in an advanced position down the right and for a player of his quality it is easy for him to reach the byline and poke the ball back to Giroud, who slams it home from five yards. He was never going to miss that.

17 minNapoli are not looking like a Benitez side whatsoever at the moment. He is usually superb at slowing the tempo of matches down when he needs to, and Napoli are in desperate need of that right now. He will regard both goals as avoidable ones, however well Arsenal are playing.

18 minInsigne has his first chance to run at the Arsenal defence and he is afforded quite a bit of space from 25 yards out. He is being invited to go for goal and dutifully obliges, but his effort flies high and wide over the bar.

20 minUPDATE: Most of the action is certainly happening in this match so far, but elsewhere Porto have taken the lead against Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are 1-0 up against Steaua. Dortmund have also just taken the lead in this group's other game.

22 minCHANCE! Some really poor defending from Arsenal gifts Napoli a good chance from a corner, and Britos should have done better. The defender was allowed to run from deep and had a completely free header from around eight yards out, only to send his effort wide of the post. Arsenal won't want to undo all of their good work with poor defending like that.

24 minThis has been a lot better from Napoli in the last few minutes. Arsenal may have taken their foot off the pedal a little bit but the visitors have been able to keep hold of the ball for much longer and, as such, have started to dictate the tempo themselves. They still look a little shaky at the back, but at least they have started threatening a little up front now.

25 minCHANCE! Still Arsenal look very good when in the attack, however. Napoli always seem to look short at the back, and that was evident again there. Ramsey won the ball initially and Ozil and Sagna linked up before Ramsey got the ball back at the far post. He was able to take it down and shoot towards goal, but his effort was blocked.

27 minCallejon has a chance to shoot from a free kick from range. It is a long way out and would need to be some strike to beat Szczesny who, as it turned out, didn't even need to make the save. It was a dipping and curling effort, but was never really threatening the Arsenal goal as it flew wide.

28 minRidiculous from the referee, but that is a typical foul on the continent. Flamini came flying in from a long way off and dived into a tackle in which he got 100% of the ball and none of the player. It was a superb tackle but, because of the nature of it, the ref blows for a free kick. What has happened to the art of tackling?

30 minNapoli drift a free kick into the box that Albiol knocks back into the danger area, prompting a bit of head tennis as the Gunners look to get it clear. Eventually the ref awards the hosts a free kick, but Napoli have certainly looked most dangerous from set pieces.

32 minLovely from Ramsey, who spins away from his man before exchanging passes with Ozil on the edge of the box. Two Arsenal men are queuing up to hit it and end up getting in each other's way and the chance goes begging. More impressive stuff from Ramsey though, he looks like a different player this season.

34 minAgain two Arsenal players get in each other's way on the edge of the box! It is Rosicky and Flamini this time who tackle each other which almost results in a Napoli break until the Czech brings Inler down.

36 minHalf chance for Napoli as Flamini slips while trying to clear a cross into the box. It bobbles loose for a second and Insigne gets a shot away, but it all happened so quickly that he couldn't get a telling connection and dragged his effort wide.

38 minIf I was to pick out one negative from the Arsenal performance so far - other than a couple of suspect pieces of defending from set pieces - it would be that Rosicky has looked slightly off the pace. That is perhaps understandable seeing as he is just returning from injury, but the Czech is the only Arsenal player you could probably say is performing under par at the moment. That really is nit-picking, though.

40 minHamsik almost weaves his way into the box, but his final touch just sees him lose control of the ball when a better touch would have put him through on goal. A rare piece of direct, positive football from Napoli, though.

42 minAnother decent opening is created by some more lovely football from Arsenal. Ozil produces a stunning turn in midfield and Giroud dummies his pass to allow Ramsey in. The Welsh midfielder cuts back inside but sees his shot blocked when he would have been better served slipping Ozil in.

44 minRamsey has had another barnstorming first half here, posing plenty of threats going forward and also putting in a number of strong tackles. Here is an image of him battling for the ball with Insigne:

Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey battle for the ball during their Champions League match on October 1, 2013


45 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Napoli

8.33pmNo stoppage time at the end of the half, and the referee's whistle is greeted by raucous cheers by the home support. It wasn't long ago that they were booing those same players off the field but, to be fair, Arsenal are playing much-improved football at the moment. They were a joy to watch at times in that first half.

8.35pmThe Gunners simply blew Napoli away at the start of that half as the Italian side could not deal with Arsenal's tempo. The likes of Ramsey, Ozil and Arteta ran the game with some quick, precise passing that Napoli just couldn't get close to. Arsenal are renowned for playing high quality football, but that opening 15 minutes was right up there with the best that Wenger will have seen in his 17 years at the helm.

8.37pmOzil opening the scoring with a sublime finish from the edge of the box having been found by Ramsey's cut back. He was in acres of space on the edge of the box, which would have had Benitez tearing what little hair he has out, but it was still a world-class finish from the German.

8.39pmBenitez will have been even more unhappy with Arsenal's second. Napoli had possession deep inside their own half, but a poor clearance hit one of their own men and gifted the ball to Ozil, who had a relatively simple dart to the byline before cutting it back to Giroud, who was never going to miss.

8.41pmThe Arsenal attack was relentless at times and they played Napoli off the park, especially in that opening 15 minutes. The Serie A side did get back into the match a little more after the second goal, but Arsenal continued to look dangerous every time they came forward. This is a very good Napoli side, supposedly high on confidence and with a good defensive record, but Arsenal made them look distinctly average in that half.

8.43pmWenger has a decision to make at half time now. Does he look to make a similar start to the second half, or does he look to defend their clean sheet and take a 2-0 win. A 2-0 win would certainly be a good result for the Gunners given the other teams in Group F, but the way Arsenal are playing, and the way Napoli are playing, I think he could go for the first option and still not be in too much danger. A big win this evening would really send a message of intent out to the rest of Europe.

8.45pmAs for Napoli, they are going to have to come up with something really special in the second half if they are to defend their unbeaten record this season. They aren't quite out of this match, but they will need to improve immeasurably in the second half, particularly in defence. Benitez is undoubtedly a great manager and is capable of coming back from a half-time deficit, but Arsenal just haven't given his side anything so far.

8.46pmUPDATE: Elsewhere in Europe at the moment, Chelsea are 2-0 up against Steaua Bucharest, while Dortmund lead Marseille in the other Group F match going on tonight. Porto are also 1-0 up against Atletico Madrid, while Celtic remain goalless against a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona.

46 minKICKOFF: Here we go again, then. Napoli have a lot to do in this second half if they want to rescue anything and it is the Italian side who kick us off.

46 minCHANCE! Almost a perfect start to the half for Arsenal as Giroud skips down the right before stopping the ball and pulling it back for Rosicky. It takes a deflection on the way through, which causes the Czech midfielder to miss the ball from close range.

48 minThat was more poor defending from Napoli for that chance. Giroud shouldn't have got past the first tackle, yet alone been allowed to stop the ball on the byline and play it into a dangerous area.

50 minPandev comes straight through the back of Arteta with a robust aerial challenge that sees both players end up in a writhing heap of pain on the floor. The referee gives the free kick to Arsenal, which is the right decision, and the Gunners now have an opportunity to get their defenders forward.

52 minNapoli deal with the floated ball into the box with ease, before moving the ball downfield. They momentarily have a man advantage as Arteta is still off receiving treatment, but Inler can't take advantage as he fires a shot well over the bar.

54 minNapoli get a few crosses into the box that are well defended by Mertesacker. The German's header out falls to Callejon on the edge of the box, but his volley is always rising over the bar. Better from Napoli, but they are still being limited to long shots.

56 minUPDATE: There has been another goal in the other Group F match tonight, and it is Dortmund who have doubled their lead. That would see the Germans leapfrog Napoli on goal difference in the table as things stand.

57 minNapoli try that floated delivery to Britos for the second time, but Arsenal aren't to be fooled this time around. Szczesny comes a long way to claim it and wins the free kick from the challenge having held on to the ball well.

58 minAt the other end, Ozil whips a dangerous free kick towards the back post that eludes everyone. It skips up off the surface and almost catches Reina out at the far post, but the on loan Liverpool keeper reaches up to pluck it out of the air.

60 minUPDATE: Barcelona had a staggering 82% possession in the first half of their match against Celtic, and the Bhoys task has got even harder as they have been reduced to 10 men. Elsewhere, Chelsea now lead Steaua 3-0, Atletico Madrid have equalised against Porto and Schalke have taken the lead against Basel.

60 minInsigne is beginning to see more of the ball now, but he is yet to find his range. He cuts inside from the left and flashes a curling shot over and wide. Still the shots are coming from distance, though, as Arsenal aren't letting them get behind their back four.

62 minNAPOLI SUB: The first change of the day comes from Rafael Benitez, and Liverpool fans will be unsurprised to see it coming around the hour mark! He brings Dries Mertens on for Pandev.

64 minARSENAL SUB: Arsenal make a change of their own as Rosicky makes way having completed over an hour on his return from injury. On comes Jack Wilshere to rapturous applause.

66 minNapoli need to inject some urgency in their game now. They are understandably cautious of being caught on the break by this free-flowing Arsenal team, but that is a risk that they will need to take soon. Even point will be valuable in this group, although Benitez may also have one eye on goal difference given how tight it may be.

67 minInler plays a one-two with Mertens on the edge of the box but rushes his shot on the return pass and blasts it well over the bar. I don't think Napoli have had a shot on target yet, while that Britos header from the first half may be their only one from inside the box.

69 minAnother long range effort from Inler goes high and wide over the bar. Napoli had won the ball back in a good area there and it was a big waste of a good attacking platform from Inler there. The Italians just haven't looked like themselves tonight.

70 minGiroud finds some space at the near post and has a clear chance to head in, but the cross is just too high for the striker. He did very well to lose his marker there, but Wilshere just wasn't on the same page.

72 minNice play from Mertens as he drives at the Arsenal defence, but again he opts for a shot from range that doesn't pose Szczesny any problems. It wasn't a bad effort, certainly not as bad as some we've seen tonight, but the Arsenal keeper didn't have to do much to keep it out.

74 minNapoli need to muster something up soon if they are to get anything out of this game. A goal in the next five minutes would give them momentum and create an exciting finish to this match, but they just don't look like scoring at the moment and haven't all night.

76 minGREAT SAVE! Super save from Reina, who may have just kept his side in this match. Ozil's first corner comes back out to him, and he lifts a second ball into the box that Arteta flicks on. Koscielny is racing in and gets on the end of it from close range, but Reina makes a fine reaction stop.

78 minNAPOLI SUB: Callejon has not been able to come up with anything tonight, and Benitez now charges young Daniel Zapata with the task of changing things.

80 minThe Napoli fans haven't had much to shout about tonight, but that hasn't stopped them making incessant noise throughout. They are renowned as among the most passionate fans in Europe, and they will continue to chant win, lose or draw, you can be sure of that.

82 minNapoli just haven't been able to create anything in an attacking sense tonight, and it can't all be down to Higuain's absence. The Argentine is good, but you feel that even he wouldn't have been able to change things tonight. The Arsenal midfield has been utterly dominant, and that has been the basis of what is looking like a comfortable win for the Gunners.

83 minNAPOLI SUB: Raul Albiol makes way late on for Federico Fernandez, which on paper looks like a straight swap in central defence. We will learn a lot about Benitez's plan in this final five minutes as to whether he goes into defence or straight up front...and he has slotted into the back line.

85 minIt should be time for the kitchen sink from the Italians now, but it just isn't happening. They have been kept quiet by Arsenal, but their players are better than they have shown tonight. It seems like they were resigned to defeat as soon as that second goal went in after just 15 minutes.

87 minUPDATE: Atletico Madrid have nicked a late goal, and what looks like a late win, away against Porto! The Spanish side lead 2-1 now.

88 minARSENAL SUB: Aaron Ramsey gets a deserved standing ovation as he makes way for Nacho Monreal in the closing stages. He Welshman was superb again tonight, but the only surprising thing about that now is that he didn't score!

90 minUPDATE: Ajax look to have found a late winner against AC Milan too! That is a real battle of European heavyweights, and it looks like Ajax will emerge on top. Celtic, meanwhile, have gone behind to a Cesc Fabregas goal and Chelsea now lead 4-0.

90 minThere will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.

90+2 minGiroud is inches away from connecting with a low cross that would have been a simple tap in for the French striker, but the ball flashes right across the face of goal.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Napoli

9.37pmWhat a performance that was from the Gunners, who make it 10 wins in a row and continue their scintillating form in recent weeks. They also take control of Group F of the Champions League as the only team still with a 100% record.

9.39pmIt has been 17 years to the day that Arsene Wenger took control of Arsenal, but that win would have given him as much satisfaction as most. They blitzed Napoli in the first half and then comfortably defended against a strong attacking outfit for the rest of the match, while still looking dangerous on the break. It was a superb night of European football for the Gunners, and one that will live long in the memory.

9.41pmArsenal's irresistible play started early with Mesut Ozil giving them the lead in the eighth minute with a sublime finish, although the defenders were nowhere to be seen. Ozil then turned provider for the second goal, pulling the ball back for Giroud after another defensive error, and the striker make no mistake from close range. At that point you would have thought that they would go on and get more, but 2-0 is a very good result for Arsenal.

9.43pmAs for Napoli, they are probably still reeling from that first half. They were blown away in the early stages by a phenomenal Arsenal performance and, although they will naturally be disappointed at falling to their first defeat of the season, there is no shame in losing to an Arsenal team in that form. Benitez will think that both goals were avoidable, but there is no question that Arsenal deserved to win tonight.

9.45pmRight, that's all from me tonight! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for an entertaining night of Champions League football that saw Arsenal play some breathtaking stuff on their way to a 2-0 win over Napoli. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction and analysis, which will be on site shortly. We have another round of Champions League matches for you tomorrow, so check back in for that! Until then, goodbye!

Arsenal's Per Mertesackeris congratulated by teammates Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil after scoring his team's second goal against Stoke during their Premier League match on September 22, 2013
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