Arsenal came out 2-0 winners in their home clash with Napoli in the Champions League Group Stages on Tuesday. This win puts Arsenal in the driving seat in their group for the time being, with Borussia Dortmund beating Marseille 3-0 in the other Group F matchup.
Arsenal put on a stellar performance, completely dominating the first 30 minutes of the first half. This dominance was rewarded with two goals, both of which Mesut Ozil was involved in. The German scored his first goal for his new club with a clinical, yet scintillating, finish inside 10 minutes. Only a few minutes later, he turned provider with a pinpoint pass to Olivier Giroud who made no mistake from close range.
Napoli couldn’t handle Arsenal’s movement and passing, and when they did get the ball, found it tough going in the offensive third. Many players elected for long-range efforts, rarely troubling Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal’s defense was as stout as it needed to be today, but was not troubled too much by a Napoli side that was clearly missing the finishing ability of Gonzalo Higuain, who was out due to injury.
Arsenal’s midfield contained both Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta today, which shows that Arsene Wenger wanted a more robust midfield, capable of breaking down any forward momentum that Napoli might gain. This, along with Flamini’s familiarity with Napoli’s playing style after spending several seasons in Italy, proved to be very effective. Napoli could not find any momentum going forward, as the two defensive minded midfielders frustrated them all night.
Arsenal’s current form is very exciting and has created a buzz around Europe. With Aaron Ramsey’s form and Ozil’s talent, this squad will be very disappointed if they don’t win a trophy this season. This form has come during a time where Arsenal has had plenty of injuries to deal with. Several key players will be coming back soon and will strengthen a team that is already flying high.
It seems as if the signing of Ozil has done wonders for the club, almost rejuvenating a side that had to grind out wins at the end of last season in order to make the Champions Leauge. Now, Arsenal dismantles teams on the way to victories, something which has not been a familiar sight for fans in the past couple of years.
Whatever the catalyst was, the fans couldn’t be happier with their club sitting on top of the Premier League table. There will be some lapses in form over the course of the season, but this Arsenal side looks like they mean business this season. They are a team to be reckoned with, no doubt, and will look to build on their form going into some more straight forward Premier League matchups.