Aug 3, 2013 at 4.20pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Giroud (72'), Koscielny (86')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Insigne (7'), Pandev (28')

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

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-2 Napoli - as it happened
© PA Photos
Relive Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage of Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Napoli in the Emirates Cup.

Arsenal started their Emirates Cup campaign on Saturday with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Napoli.

Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at half time before Bacary Sagna pulled a goal back for the Gunners with 20 minutes left.

Laurent Koscielny then headed in an equaliser late on to give the hosts a share of the spoils.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded.

4.09pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of today's match between Arsenal and Napoli in the Emirates Cup.

4.11pmI'm sure there will be many fans out there who are pleased to see the return of this tournament this year as it was postponed in 2012 to make way for the London Olympics. However, now it's back and with a stellar selection of teams to boot.

4.13pmWe've already had the opening fixture played earlier today as Galatasaray earned a 1-0 win over Porto.

4.16pmNot long until this one gets underway. Before that happens, here are the teams...

4.18pmARSENAL: Fabianski; Mertesacker, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Gibbs; Rosicky, Gnabry, Wilshere, Ramsey, Podolski; Giroud

4.20pmNAPOLI: Reina; Britos, Mesto, Cannavaro, Armero, Callejon, Insigne, Inler, Behrami, Hamsik, Pandev

0 minPlenty of people crammed into the Emirates Stadium this afternoon and it will be the Gunners to get us going. Game on!

2 minNice bright opening from both sides here, but it's the hosts who are currently enjoying most of the possession.

3 minCHANCE! Early opening for the Gunners, but Gnabry can't guide his effort inside the post. The ball broke to the youngster in the area and he tried to guide it across Reina and into the far corner. However, it was inches wide.

5 minIt's an absolutely glorious day in North London - the sun is out, the pitch is looking immaculate and there is plenty of crisp passing on display.


8 minThe visitors take the lead, but it's a bit of a nightmare for Jenkinson, who fails to clear the ball before Insigne places a cool finish past Fabianski. That all came about via a long ball over the top. Jenkinson tried to head it clear, only to mess it up and put the young forward in.

9 minThat's certainly made the fans quiet inside the Emirates Stadium. There was plenty of buoyancy at the start of the match, but now it's all a little bit tentative.

11 minHalf an opening for the Gunners as Podolski bursts clear, but he's dispossessed just as he's about to pull the trigger on the edge of the area.

14 minCLOSE! Reina's blushes are spared as his poor clearance goes straight to Gnabry, who narrowly chips the ball over the bar from about 25 yards. That would have been a great finish from the youngster, but it was woeful goalkeeping from the Spaniard.

16 minArsenal are quite content to pass the ball around in their inimitable style at the moment, with Napoli looking dangerous on the break.


18 minSAVED! The home side are gifted a penalty as Gibbs goes down softly under the weakest of challenges from Insigne, but Podolski's poor effort is kept out with a low save from Reina. Not a good kick at all.

20 minPENALTY SHOUT! Napoli want a penalty now as Pandev is bundled over by Gibbs, but referee Kevin Friend waves play on. If Arsenal's was a penalty, then that one definitely was.

23 minPlenty of boos from the Arsenal fans when Reina gets on the ball. Not entirely sure why but I'm guessing it's because he used to play for Liverpool. Still, that doesn't really explain it...

25 minGood work from Gibbs almost presents Giroud with a chance, but the Frenchman's effort is snuffed out by the dogged Napoli defence.

27 minUnlucky for Napoli, who put together a slick counter-attack before the move fizzles out with a misjudged cross. They continue to look dangerous on the break.


29 minThat's a wonderful finish from Pandev, who picks up the ball from Hamsik before rounding the goalkeeper, keeping his calm, and curling the ball into the far corner with three Arsenal players on the line.

30 minThe Gunners may have enjoyed themselves with some big scores on their tour of Asia, but this is a different level of opposition today.

31 minCLOSE! Napoli launch yet another counter-attack, but Insigne just can't find the net when he tries to prod the ball home in a crowded penalty area.

34 minCHANCE! Now it's Arsenal's turn to nearly find the net! Podolski picks up the ball on the edge of the box and fires narrowly wide across goal. An inch or two to the left and that would have been nestling in the goal.

36 minDISALLOWED GOAL! It's a great finish from Ramsey as he gathers the ball inside the area, but the linesman's flag is up.

40 minTo be fair to Arsenal, they're pushing hard for a goal before the half-time whistle. They're surging forward whenever they get the ball, but that's leaving them open on the break.

42 minNo Arsenal players in the penalty area as Gibbs whips in a devilish cross from the left.

44 minWASTED CHANCE! Classic Arsenal there as Ramsey feeds Podolski, but the German tees it up for Giroud to fire over the crossbar. Podolski had the better view of goal there, only to lay on that extra pass that has plagued so many Gunners attacks down the years.


5.07pmIncredibly, there are boos ringing out around the Emirates Stadium from the home fans as their side go in 2-0 down at the break.

5.10pmIt's not been THAT bad a first-half display from Arsenal, but Napoli have been more clinical in front of goal and have the lead to show it. There's plenty of talent on the home bench, but will Arsene Wenger make any changes?

5.14pmMikel Arteta, Gedion Zelalem, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott are all in waiting for the Gunners, while Gonzalo Higuain sits on the Napoli bench. Still plenty of talent to light up the second half.

5.19pmThere are a few accusations that the Arsenal players looked tired in that first half, but I couldn't see any evidence of that. They burst forward in numbers, with everyone wanting to get involved.

46 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Napoli are making two changes here as Gonzalo Higuain and Christian Maggio both come one. Big jeers from the Arsenal fans as Higuain's name is read out. The Italians get the second half underway.

48 minCLOSE! So very nearly for Wilshere and Arsenal. The midfielder weaves his way into the Napoli box before flashing a shot inches wide across goal. That would have been some start to this second half.

51 minIt's been all Arsenal in this second half, and now they have a free kick in a dangerous position...

53 minNot great from Giroud. The striker gave the ball a good old whack, but it went straight into the wall. Cue deflation from the home fans.

55 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Arsenal do some tinkering now as Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna come on for Serge Gnabry and Carl Jenkinson.

57 minSagna gets involved in the action right away as his whipped cross goes into an empty penalty area and out of play. Incredible that there wasn't one of his teammates in there.

60 minLooks like Oxlade-Chamberlain might be making an appearance soon...

62 minGood pressing again from Arsenal as Podolski's deflected effort is cleared away after Higuain was bundled off the ball by Koscielny - much to the amusement of Arsenal fans.

63 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Changes for both sides here as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta come on for Arsenal, while Raul Albiol is introduced for Napoli.

65 minSUBSTITUTION: A further swap for Napoli here as Dries Mertens replaces Marek Hamsik.

67 minWe're experiencing something of a lull in this match now. The crowd is very quiet indeed, while the two teams are struggling to show any real urgency to attack. Yawn.

70 minNeat build-up from Arsenal feeds in Gibbs down the left, but the defender's cross is a poor one which Reina collects with ease. The Spaniard is called into action again soon after as he puts Giroud's shot out for a corner.


74 minThe Gunners are back in this now thanks to a fairly odd goal from Sagna. Giroud tries an overhead kick from the corner, but it hits Sagna before it finds the net. The original effort was going high and wide - but they all count.

75 minA bit more of a buzz around the Emirates Stadium now. The Arsenal fans are egging their team on to get an equaliser. They got 15 minutes to do so.

77 minSUBSTITUTION: Lorenzo Insigne, who's goal got Napoli on their way, comes off for former Liverpool man Andrea Dossena.

80 minBOOKING: Dossena's first real impact is to pick up a yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Sagna.

83 minGood hands from Fabianski as he gets down to gather Mertens' cross. The Polish goalkeeper needed to be alert there with Higuain lurking in the box.

84 minSAVE! A decent stop at the other end this time as Reina takes hold of Oxlade-Chamberlain's ferocious shot from 25 yards. Luckily for the Spaniard it was straight down his throat.

86 minSUBSTITUTION: A further change for Napoli as Blerim Dzemaili replaces Valon Behrami.


88 minIt's all square and it's Koscielny with the goal! Arteta floated a free kick into the box which saw Mertesacker's header saved by Reina, but Koscielny was there to nod in the rebound from close range. Meanwhile, Chuba Akpom is on for Arsenal.

90 minThere will be two minutes of injury time...

90+2 minArsenal win a late free kick, but Walcott's delivery evades everyone and floats out for a goal kick.


6.11pmSo, there you go. Arsenal open their Emirates Cup account by fighting back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against a decent-looking Napoli side.

6.13pmThe Gunners return to action tomorrow against Galatasaray, while Napoli take on Porto. You'll be able to follow all the action with us here on Sports Mole. Anyway, that's all from us for now. Thank you for your company and we hope to see you soon. Take care and enjoy your evening!

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Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain before a game with Colombia on June 8, 2013
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