GROUP F – Tuesday 1st October 2013


An inspired performance from Mesut Ozil paved the way for an easy Arsenal win against a good Napoli side. Arsenal were waiting for a night like this from Ozil, running the show start to finish carving the Napoli defence open at will, being the catalyst for everything positive, whereas much of the season the plaudits have been given to Aaron Ramsey or Olivier Giroud. His singing has been a revelation and even managed to keep motor-mouthed moaner Piers Morgan quiet for far too long, something which surely must be a good thing.

Arsenal’s first goal came from Ozil himself. A fantastic move by Arsenal down the right flank enabled Ramsey to cut the ball along the face of the goal, and a great run by Tomas Rosicky across the face of the goal took the two remaining Napoli defenders away from Ozil. With only the keeper to beat, and the ball at a difficult height which most players would of miss-kicked, Ozil volleyed the ball past a flaying Pepe Reina for his first Arsenal goal, and what a beauty it was.

Time and time again within the first 15 minutes Ozil and Ramsey took the Napoli defence to pieces. This looked like the Arsenal team of old fast, free flowing, attacking football, something the fans have wanted for a number of years, now it appears they have found their mojo again.

The second came on 15 minutes. Flamini winning the ball close to the Napoli goal where the ball ended up at the German wonder. Ozil providing some very neat footwork pulled the ball back to Giroud, who finished from close range. The camouflaged away kit from Napoli worked a wonder, their own players could not see each other for the first 20 minutes and time and time again Arsenal simply played around them. Even when Napoli recovered from their awful start their moves rarely resulted in a shot.

The closest the Italians came to mustering an attack came outside the ground, where the Ultra’s forced their way into an Italian restaurant before smashing the place to pieces, so much for concentrating on the football.

The second half Napoli, without their main attacking threat Gonzalo Higuain through injury, did gain more possession. However their shots were off target and Schezney had very little to do all night. The intoprduction of Jack Wiltshire mid-way through the second half did spur Arsenal on again, with several mazy runs at the Italian defence, however the score remained at two, and it was Arsenal’s, and Ozil’s night.

This is surely enough to stop the Arsenal doubter’s moaning; the success starved North London team have not won a trophy in 8 years (try supporting a team like Newcastle 44 years and counting), but surely with players like Ozil at the helm, this is their year to win something.


Andy Powell

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