Arsenal 2 Napoli 0: Player Ratings

02 October 2013 10:01
A brilliant first half won the game for the Gunners as they moved the ball around at will and scored two excellent goals, both involving newcomer Mesut Ozil.

Ozil dominated the first half and stimulated the imaginations of Gunner fans around the world. Can you imagine Santi Cazorla playing alongside Ozil and what that can mean? Can you imagine how good we might be with everyone healthy? How to keep one’s enthusiasm in check may be the real test facing Arsenal fans.

The second half featured a more cagey Arsenal, content to defend and to counter attack. There were several chances of scoring a third, but a bounce here and a deflection there kept Arsenal from adding to Napoli’s misery.

Napoli never seriously threatened the Arsenal goal, other than a wayward header from a first half corner that they won. The next game against Dortmund will be key and if Arsenal hold their nerve they will almost have completed qualification to the next round.

Arsenal have now won ten games in a row. Amazing! They play away at West Brom this weekend, which is followed by an international break.

Player Ratings:

Szczesny 7.  Little more than a spectator for most of the night. He made a couple of easy saves, cut out a few crosses and passes, and otherwise had one of his easiest nights of the season.

Sagna  8.  I thought Bacary was excellent, particularly going forward where he was a constant threat.

Mertesacker  7.  A good night for Per, but in truth there was little defending to be done.

Koscielny  7.  Same comments as those for Mertesacker. Had a half chance to score as well.

Gibbs  7.  Good game for Kieran. Was available on the overlap a couple of times. He turned down a good shooting chance near the end of the game as it was on his right foot.

Flamini  8.  Wenger entrusted Flamini to keep Hamsik quiet and Hamsik was quiet. Job done. He also had three attempted shots on goal in the first half!

Arteta 8.  A good job by Mikel. He was the victim of several rough challenges, but he appeared to survive the evening.

Ramsey  8.  Was deployed on the right wing for most of the night. People used to say he played poorly because Wenger played him out on the wing, but tonight he was outstanding playing wide. Set up the first goal and had a number of chances that were just charged down at the last minute.

Rosicky 7.  Tomas had a very good game and provided a nice impetus going forward. He did make several poor passes, but he has just returned from injury and may be a  little rusty.

Ozil  9.  My man of the match. His first goal ever as a Gunner was pure class and he set up the second. Almost every time he got the ball he did something special.

Giroud 8.  Great game from Olivier. He was involved in the buildup of both goals and he finished strongly for the second, his sixth goal of the season. Worked hard the whole match and was unlucky not to score a second.


Wilshere  7.  Jack played a half hour and had a solid outing. He seemed to be keen for Arsenal to score a third, whereas others were content to shut down the shop.

Monreal n/a.  Nacho played about five minutes at the end.

Source: Arsenal World