A Aaron Ramsey's effort and Kalidou Koulibaly's goal gave Arsenal a 2-0 victory over Napoli in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, and a rare and valuable clean sheet to carry to Italy in a week.
Arsenal took the lead in the 14th minute through Ramsey, who finished a clean sweep to the right as he calmly pbaded the ball past Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret.
They doubled the advantage 10 minutes later, after a moment of individual brilliance by Lucas Torreira, who ran through the midfield of Naples before turning and changing the ball to his left foot, finding the net with a very deflected shot from Koulibaly.
The Gunners continued to advance repeatedly as half progressed, but could not capitalize despite the repeated shots by goalkeepers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Napoli had to thank Meret for the numerous saves.
Carlo Ancelotti's men advanced at the beginning of the second half in search of a goal away, with striker Lorenzo Insigne placing the ball in the back of the net only to be discarded, and Koulibaly denied moments later when goalkeeper Petr Cech inclined his head. over the bar
The game opened quickly and Ramsey, who joins the rivals of Napoli and Juventus of Serie A in the closed season, and Nacho Monreal created opportunities at the other end, but could not beat Meret again.
Napoli was closer to scoring when Insigne ran to the right and crossed to Piotr Zielinski, but the Pole's right-footed shot went over the crossbar.
The Italian side has now failed to beat the English opponents away from the San Paolo stadium in nine attempts at European competition, and will have to be in the form of home scoring if they want to advance in the competition.