Napoli 0 Arsenal 1
Chelsea 4 Slavia Prague 3
Would 2-0 be enough? Yes.
Unai Emery only made one change from the first leg.
Xhaka for Ozil, who was on the bench.
One goal was enough to confirm Arsenal as semi-finalists.
In 30, Auba had a snapshot that 22-year-old keeper Alex Meret held comfortably, Mkhitaryan replaced Ramsey, Arsenal got a free-kick 30 yards out and put two men in the wall and when those two peeled away Meret took a half-step to his right and Lacazette’s kick flew flat and true into the other side of the goal.
My gut feeling all along was that I don’t rate Serie A these days and that Arsenal should not fear Napoli.
All along I’ve thought Arsenal would meet Chelsea in the Europa League and I’ve said that here at least twice.
Sarri dropped Jorginho and started Pedro-Giroud-Hazard up top and they led 4-1 at the break.
Sarri was very annoyed that his players thought it was over at half-time:
He said, “As usual in the last two months we started very badly in the second half and we need a solution. I can try without going into the dressing room at half-time if that’ll solve the problem. It’s not easy to understand. It is a big problem. At the end of the first half we thought we had qualified. I told them to start with the same application in the second half but we didn’t. They scored from 18 metres without being opposed, twice.”
Myself, I’m still recovering from the Man City-Spurs spectacular on Wednesday night.
After the most exciting football match I’ve ever seen, with two VAR dramas, Spurs won on away goals. If I had time, I’d write a book about that match.
Pochettino has four ex-Ajax players and Tottenham play Ajax in the Champions League semi-final.
NAPOLI: Meret, Maksimovic, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Ghoulam, Callejon, Allan, Fabian, Zielinski, Milik, Insigne.
Subs: Ospina, Malcuit, Rui, Verdi, Mertens, Hysaj, Younes.
ARSENAL Papastathopoulos, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Subs: Leno, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Mustafi, Guendouzi.
CHELSEA: Kepa; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Kovacic, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.
Subs: Caballero, Cahill, Zappacosta, Jorginho, Willian, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain.
SPARTA PRAGUE : (4-2-3-1) Kolar; Kudela, Ngadeu, Deli, Boril; Soucek, Kral; Sevcik, Traore, Zmrhal; Masopust.
Subs: Kovar, Olayinka, Zeleny, Van Buren, Stoch, Skoda, Frydrych.