Arsenal v Napoli
UEFA Champions League
Kick off: October 1, 2013 7:45 PM BST
One of the best first half performances by any teams standards saw Arsenal race into a 2-0 lead. Then a more subdued second half saw Arsenal defend and control the game comfortably, Napoli were kept quiet all night, posing very little threat to the Arsenal goal. Securing another 3 points put’s us top of our Group. Here are the player ratings:
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Wojciech Szczesny | 7.0: I am a bit hesitant to give Szczesny a rating, he had so little to do all night I rarely saw him make a save.
Bacary Sagna | 7.5: Had a difficult job with Zuniga overlapping on the left. Managed to keep Napoli’s attack quiet while regularly getting forward.
Laurent Koscielny | 8.0: Fantastic performance from the French centre back, with Napoli offering so little in attack the defence could have switched off momentarily, but Koscielny stayed sharp and put in a number of great tackles and interceptions.
Per Mertesacker | 7.5: The partnership with Koscielny just keeps getting stronger, a great defensive performance from the duo.
Kieran Gibbs | 7.5: Didn’t get forward as much as he usually does in the first half, was solid defensively and contributed a lot more in attack late in the second half.
Mathieu Flamini | 7.5: With the lack of threat from Napoli and Arteta along side him, he was able to push slightly further up the pitch and get more involved in attacks. Still performed his defensive duties when required though.
Mikel Arteta | 6.75: Didn’t look fully sharp today with a few mistakes in his game, particularly in his tackling. Good to have him back in contention though.
Mesut Özil | 8.0: Absolutely unplayable first half, with an assist and a goal in the first 15 minutes. Took his goal like a world class striker with a great finish, and showed lovely feet and vision to create Giroud’s goal.
Thomas Rosicky | 6.5: As always the effort and commitment was definitely there from Little Mozart, things just weren’t clicking for him tonight though. His pass completion was pretty horrendous, he was dispossessed several times and just looked to be lacking a bit of fitness; which is to be expected after injury of course. A great option to have though and lets us put a much stronger bench out.
Aaron Ramsey | 8.0: Another great performance from Aaron, assisting the first goal and linking up superbly with Özil and Giroud throughout the game. Looked like he might have picked up a worrying injury before half time, but came out for the second and seemed unscathed.
Olivier Giroud | 8.5: One of the only players to keep up his performance throughout the entire match. His hold up play and strength was vital to us keeping possession and denying any to Napoli. Got into great positions on several occasions and I felt he really should have been picked out more often than he was. Took his goal well under pressure.
Jack Wilshere | 7.0: Came on for an under performing Rosicky. Slotted in well, great to have that kind of quality on the bench.
Nacho Monreal | N/A: Didn’t have long enough on the pitch.