Napoli 0 Arsenal 1
Lacazette 36

Arsenal beat Napoli 1-0 in their second leg Europa League quarter final match with an Alexandsee Lacazettee free kick stunner to secure a 3-0 aggregate win over the Serie A side and secure consecutive Europa Leagues semi-finals. The Gunners will now play Valencia with the first match at the Emirates on May 2nd. One note of concern was the injury Aaron Ramsey sustained just past the half hour mark. He was replaced by Henrick Mkhitaryan and could be out for several weeks. Lacazette becomes the first Arsenal player to score in Europe with a direct free-kick since Thierry Henry against Roma in 2002-03.

Unai Emery elected to play with a two man attack. Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might not have been the selection many had in mind in a game which the Gunners had to preserve a 2-0 first leg lead. However, there was to be no sitting back against Napoli who although started brightly, rarely caused a worry for the three man Arsenal defence.

Petr Cech is retiring as a player this summer, and he saved well from Jose Callejon, after a quick attack, while Arkadiusz Milik had a goal ruled out for offside after he clipped the ball over the on rushing Gunners’ keeper. That really seemed to be all that Napoli could muster as Arsenal finshesd off a professional Italian job at the Stadio San Paulo.

The victory marked Emery’s 50th as Arsenal Head Coach, and became the fastest to so in the club’s history.

When Lacazette struck with his free kick which Meret could only watch fly past him, the Serie A side were now in need of four goals to progress. Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Sokratis were in no mood to let that happen, and duly closed out the win which sees Arsenal emulate last season’s Europa League feat. The trick is now to reach the final in Baku in May where should they see off Valencia will see them face the winners from the semi-final from Chelsea or Eintracht Frankfurt.