MX23RW : Monday, May 20 03:06:00| >> :600:2661133:2661133:

Live Commentary: Napoli 0-1 Arsenal (0-3 on aggregate) - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Arsenal's 1-0 win at Napoli, as Alexandre Lacazette's free kick made certain of the Gunners' progression.
Live Commentary: Napoli 0-1 Arsenal (0-3 on aggregate) - as it happened
© Reuters

Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the second leg as Arsenal beat Napoli 1-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate in their Europa League quarter-final.

The Gunners, already leading 2-0 from last week's opening 90 minutes in North London, extended their advantage through Lacazette's 36th-minute free kick.

Both teams wasted chances in the remainder of the match and in the end it was a safe passage through for the visitors, who will face Valencia in the last four.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Europa League quarter-final second leg between Napoli and Arsenal at the Stadio San Paolo.

The Gunners make the trip to the south of Italy looking to protect a 2-0 lead from last week's reverse fixture, secured through an Aaron Ramsey strike and a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal.

That two-goal margin of victory could come in handy as the visitors have lost both away knockout-round ties in this season's competition, while their Italian opponents are unbeaten in five home European fixtures this term, scoring 10 goals and conceding just two.


STARTING XI: Meret; Maksimovic, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Callejon, Allan, Ruiz, Zielinski; Milik, Insigne

SUBS: Ospina, Malcuit, Rui, Mertens, Verdi, Hysaj, Younes


STARTING XI: Cech; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ramsey; Lacazette, Aubameyang

SUBS: Ozil, Iwobi, Elneny, Guendouzi, Leno, Mustafi, Mkhitaryan

KICKOFF:  Arsenal show one change from the first leg, bringing in fit-again Xhaka for Ozil, meaning that Emery will go with two strikers up top in Lacazette and Aubameyang. Napoli make three alterations, with Mertens among those to make way for Milik. The hosts get us up and running in Naples!

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka pictured in November 2018© Reuters

Napoli have made a positive start to the match, urged on by their incredible supporters. This is a big deal for the Italian club, with nothing to play for domestically in the remaining month of the season. Arsenal need to keep this second leg tight for as long as possible.

Xhaka whips in a deep free kick that Sokratis gets on the end of towards the back post. The centre-back cannot pick out a teammate with his knockdown. It is so far so good for the Gunners - five minutes played and Napoli have not yet got in behind.

Ramsey tries to work some space for a shot inside the box but he cannot quite sort his feet out quick enough. Arsenal are looking pretty controlled on the ball which is a promising sign. Emery will be pleased with this start from his side.

Maitland-Niles charges down the right and is tripped by Ghoulam. Arsenal have a free kick right next to the corner flag, which Xhaka swings into the six-yard box. Meret punches the ball as far as Ramsey, who cannot find the target with his attempt.

Arsenal have played some very nice football early on. This latest attack breaks down in the box as Xhaka is unable to get a shot away. A bad touch from Ramsey then lets him down in the box, with Maksimovic getting away with a slight shove on the Welshman.

Kolasinac gets away from his man down the left but a bad touch then lets him down before he can think about picking out a teammate. It has been all Arsenal in the opening 13 minutes. Napoli have been sloppy on the ball and are giving away too many free kicks.

Arsenal wing-back Kolasinac blocks Callejon's run to concede a free kick. Napoli try to work the ball in behind for Insigne, but he is flagged for offside. The hosts have still yet to find their rhythm.

SAVE!  Napoli defend an Arsenal corner and all of a sudden they counter three on two. Centre-back Koulibaly leads the charge and slots in Callejon, who has a low shot saved by Cech. That is the best chance of the game so far by quite some distance.

Aubameyang takes the ball a little wider than he would have wanted and ex-Tottenham defender Chiriches gets across to cut out the cross. Arsenal have been pretty dominant at the Stadio San Paolo, but they have nothing to show for it.

STAT! Arsenal's 2-0 win in the first leg was the 17th occasion the Gunners have won the first leg of a major European knockout match by two or more goals - they have progressed on each of the previous 16 occasions.

Callejon crosses the ball and Monreal heads clear. Napoli are enjoying a good spell on the ball but Callejon's latest cross goes straight out of play.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  The Italians have seen a lot more of the ball over the last few minutes. Insigne, who has been Napoli's liveliest player, plays in Milik but the striker is flagged for offside as he is about to shoot. The goal is rightly ruled out.

Arsenal are not as in control of the game as they were in the opening 20 minutes, but Emery will not be too concerned. His side have been very positive with their play and are now a little over an hour away from a place in the semi-finals.

CHANCE!  Napoli have had 58% of the ball and they are now starting to look a lot more dangerous in the final third. Koscielny plays a couple of players onside but Milik guides his header wide of the target when picked out completely unmarked.

SAVE!  This is much more like it from Napoli. The hosts started slowly, matching their performance from the first leg, but they have been the better side for a good 10 minutes now. That said, Arsenal are still looking bright and Aubameyang's shot is saved by Meret.

Callejon and Insigne go to ground after crashing into each other so there will be a stoppage in play. Play then resumes with Ramsey seemingly pulling his hamstring - this could be a massive loss for Emery's side.

The Arsenal physio is on as Ramsey stays on the ground. The Welshman signalled to the bench straight away and it seems certain he will make way in the next couple of minutes. The question is, who does Emery bring on? Mkhitaryan or Ozil?

ARSENAL SUB! Ramsey does indeed make way, with Mkhitaryan the player to come on. Emery will just be hoping that Ramsey has not made his final appearance for the club.


Arsenal have the away goal they craved! Lacazette is fouled by Maksimovic just outside the box, brushes himself down and sends the free kick past a wrong-footed Meret. The Napoli keeper shifted the weight on to his right foot and could not get to the ball - that has to go down as an error on his behalf, even if it was a well-struck shot.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after opening the scoring for Arsenal away to Napoli on April 18, 2019© Reuters

The home team now require four goals if they are to advance thanks to that valuable away strike from Lacazette. A cross into the box has a little too much on it for Aubameyang as the Gunners close in on a second goal of the night.

A cross towards the back post is met by Callejon, who is unable to find the target nor pick out a teammate with his header across goal. Arsenal have had some defending to do over the last few minutes but they look comfortable enough.

SHOT!  Insigne is played in on the overlap down the left and tees up Callejon for the volley, which is slightly off target. Insigne is then cautioned for booting the ball away when a decision goes against him - that was very silly from the home captain.

Napoli are enjoying pretty much the best spell of the match, but they have just four minutes of added time to find a way through. Cech has a couple of simple tasks to deal with as Arsenal continue to keep their opponents out.

Two of the four added-on minutes have been played. Milik glanced a header wide of the post and Zielinski had a shot that deflected wide from a long way out. Can Napoli score the goal that will give them a glimmer of hope?


Lacazette's free kick has given Arsenal a one-goal lead on the night and a 3-0 advantage on aggregate, leaving Napoli requiring four goals in the second half because of the away-goals rule. The Gunners can surely start preparing for the semis.

Having seen his side lose the away legs in the two previous knockout rounds, Unai Emery took a positive approach by naming Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack, but there was no place for the benched Mesut Ozil. Despite playing in front of a packed and vociferous home crowd, Arsenal started the quicker of the two sides, getting in behind a few times but having nothing to show for it.

The Gunners' early dominance was almost undone as Napoli countered from a successfully defended corner and should have scored through Jose Callejon, who was denied by Petr Cech down low once played in by Kalidou Koulibaly. Napoli grew into the match and had another decent opportunity when Arkadiusz Milik was picked out unmarked in the box, only to guide his header wide of the target.

Arsenal, dealt an injury blow half an hour in when Aaron Ramsey hobbled off after tweaking his hamstring, extended their aggregate lead before the break as Lacazette brushed himself down after being fouled by Nikola Maksimovic and sent a free kick past a wrong-footed Alex Meret. The Napoli keeper shifted all his weight on to his right foot and could not get to Lacazette's shot, leaving the Italians requiring four goals.

Jose Callejon volleyed wide, Milik glance an effort off target and Piotr Zielinski's attempt from range was blocked in front of goal as the Serie A side closed in on a goal that would give them a glimmer of hope. That goal did not arrive before half time, though, and it is surely now game over for them. Here is a reminder of both sides' benches...

NAPOLI SUBS: Ospina, Malcuit, Rui, Mertens, Verdi, Hysaj, Younes

ARSENAL SUBS: Ozil, Iwobi, Elneny, Guendouzi, Leno, Mustafi

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey hobbles off the field with a hamstring injury during the Europa League clash with Napoli on April 18, 2019© Reuters

KICKOFF:  Arsenal get us back underway at the Stadio San Paolo! Napoli, who require four second-half goals, bring on Mertens for Maksimovic - a forward for a defender.

Napoli have three up top, providing them with more of a goal threat. Arsenal boss Emery will be keen for his side to see out the job with as little fuss as possibly. Insigne gets away from Maitland-Niles and pulls it back for Ruiz, whose shot is high and wide.

SAVE!  It should be 2-0 to Arsenal! Mkhitaryan wins back the ball for his side and plays it across goal for Aubameyang, who is denied by a brilliant Meret save. Napoli will not pull off a comeback but that was still a very good save.

Napoli are bossing possession but it is Arsenal who have created the best chance of the second half. This is turning into a far more comfortable night than expected for the Gunners, with Callejon sending a right-sided cross straight out of play.

Another cross into the Arsenal box, this time from a deeper position, goes right through for Cech to collect. Arsenal get bodies forward but Lacazette loses control of the ball in the area. The Gunners clearly want a fourth goal of the tie.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  A corner is played to the back post where Aubameyang is waiting, but he cannot squeeze the ball past Meret. At the other end of the pitch, Koulibaly chests Zielinski's cross over the line but he is offside and the goal will not stand.

Nothing is going right for Napoli now as another cross goes straight out of play. Emery looks as though he is going to make a change - he has the luxury of being able to rest players ahead of his side's next Premier League match, a visit from Crystal Palace on Sunday.

CHANCE!  We have played an hour in Naples and the hosts, despite all their pressure, are not really looking like scoring. Insigne gets in behind but his attempted lob over Cech is terrible, failing to get any real lift on the ball.

SUBS! Younes comes on for Insigne, who is not at all happy with Ancelotti's decision - he sits away from his teammates when eventually making it to the bench. Elneny is on for Xhaka in the away side's latest change.

Mertens' corner is met by the head of Chiriches. The defender gets away from his marker but he is moving backwards and gets under the ball, sending it wide of the target. The hosts just cannot find a way through this evening.

Callejon hammers the ball wide from Napoli's latest attempt. When the ball arrives in the box from the next attack, Koscielny accidentally makes contact with Koulibaly and the home defender is not happy.

ARSENAL SUB! Emery makes his third and final change of the match by bringing on Iwobi for Lacazette with an eye on Sunday's league clash against Palace. The Gunners have 22 minutes to see through in Naples.

Emery will be delighted if his side can keep a clean sheet, especially considering how poor they were away to BATE Borisov and Rennes in their previous two away days in European competition. Napoli continue to plug away but they are not testing Cech enough.

NAPOLI SUB! Ghoulam makes way and Rui comes on in the final change of the evening. Milik's shot from range is high and wide. The home fans are making far less noise now compared to the opening half an hour of the match.

CHANCE!  Rui sends in a good cross from the left and Milik gets on the end of it at the back post. The striker is pretty much under the crossbar but gets his contact all wrong and sends it over. He has had a terrible match.

YELLOW CARD!  This is a strange decision from the referee. Cech is cautioned for wasting time, despite his side being in cruise control. The goalkeeper wanted to take the goal kick from the left of his six-yard box and not the right, which the ref felt was a ploy to eat up seconds.

Zielinski shifts the ball on to his left and snatches at the ball, sending it wide of the target. Torreira appears to have picked up an injury to his groin, forcing him off the field, but Emery has already made all three changes.

CLOSE!  Koscielny scuffs the clearance and the ball comes off Monreal. Cech is required to keep it out down the middle - that was nearly an embarrassing own goal, though even that would not have clouded what has been a great night for Arsenal.

Milik would have been in if not for a good piece of defending from Koscielny to acrobatically stick out a leg and help it behind for a corner. The set-piece is sent towards the penalty spot and Koulibaly guides his header wide.

Arsenal are on the verge of keeping a sixth clean sheet in seven matches. Aubameyang tries to shake off Chiriches down the left and he wins a corner for his side. This has been the most straightforward of evenings for the visitors - it was not supposed to be this way.

We are into the final four minutes of the match and it is unlikely that the referee will add on too many minutes at the end. Lacazette's free kick 36 minutes into the second leg killed off the tie. Napoli have been the better side since then but they have failed to convert.

Iwobi and Aubameyang link up down the left but Allan recovers the ball for his side. The ball is worked to the opposite flank but a pass down the flank is gobbled up by Cech. There are now just two minutes of normal time to go.

Arsenal win a free kick in a promising position. Mkhitaryan decides against crossing and instead goes for goal, arrowing his attempt wide of the ball. Napoli get forward but Koscielny is once again first to the cross when it arrives.

We have played two of the three added-on minutes in Naples. Another cross into the box is cleared away, this time by Mkhitaryan. Rui then got away from his man but Ruiz hammered the ball a good five yards over the bar once picked out.



Arsenal reach the Europa League semi-finals for the second season running thanks to a 3-0 aggregate win over Napoli. Lacazette scored the only goal of the second leg through a 36th-minute free kick, effectively killing off the tie at that point. Both teams wasted chances in the remainder of the match as the Gunners comfortably progressed through.

That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage. Thank you for joining us this evening!




Share this article now:
Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi in action during his side's Premier League clash with West Ham on January 12, 2019
Read Next:
How Arsenal could line up against Napoli

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
/esi/758/0/index.html - esi:0:site:0:-p-: {0}: - :T758:-: {0}: < ! - - T  758 {0} - - >  : 
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League Playoffs
Greek Superleague Relegation Playoffs
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Welsh Premier League Playoffs
Segunda Division
Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs
Major League Soccer
Liga MX Playoffs
Uruguayan Primera Division
A-League Finals
Chinese Super League
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account