It was a case of same again for Arsenal as they faced a much favoured Napoli side at the Emirates with only one absentee for the visitors being Arsenal's summer transfer target Gonzalo Higuain.
It was sure to test Arsenal's Champions League credentials. they were not wanting as Arsenal bossed the game early on, they found themselves ahead just after seven minutes in.
Some good hold up play from Olivier Giroud holding off former Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol, who played it down the line to the overlapping Aaron Ramsey who picked out the onrushing Mesut Özil who nonchalantly placed his half volley in the near corner leaving Napoli keeper Pepe Reina stranded.
It was not 1-0 for long, soon after Özil made a great run down the right hand side and drilled the ball across the Napoli six yard box and Giroud tucked it away from close range; the game was only 15 minutes old. It could have been more by half time but it finished 2-0 at the break.
Napoli stepped it up a little in the second half but did not have any real clear cut chances in the whole game and Arsenal saw it out for a 2-0 win which was impressive to say the very least. Arsenal kept Napoli at a distance and restricted them to long range efforts which were no real problem for Wojciech Szczęsny.
It was the first time Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta had played together in front of the back four and they were resilient and bullish all game, not giving Napoli time to settle. It was the kind of hunger that has been lacking in recent seasons.
The midfield shape has been a dramatic change from last season, the midfield five almost operated as a narrow diamond with Özil at the top of it, Tomas Rosicky to the left and Ramsey to the right, with Flamini and Arteta the protectors.This allows the full backs Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna the licence to produce the width which has seen Arsenal overload the midfield and control the game.
Özil was in particular inspired form and was involved in everything; he really has settled quickly, since he signed there have been notable improvements. Flamini has looked even better than he did in his first spell with the Gunners and what can you say about Ramsey that has not already been said? He has developed a great understanding with the German International which is flourishing at the moment.
Another impressive outing for the Gunners who have now notched up nine wins in a row in all competitions and it is not hard to see why if this performance is anything to go by.
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