Arsenal have one foot in the Europa League semi-finals following their win at home to Napoli in their quarter-final first leg.
The Gunners won 2-0 thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s early strike before Lucas Torreira’s low effort deflected in off Kalidou Koulibaly.
Unai Emery’s men were in brilliant form and gave their opponents the run around – the only negative perhaps being that Arsenal could have made their lead bigger going into the second leg at the San Paolo Stadium next Thursday.
Nevertheless, being two goals ahead against one of the favourites to win the competition is still good work as Emery, who is turning it on in the competition he won three years running as Sevilla boss.
LIVE ON talkSPORT
talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here's what's coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…
- Southampton vs Wolves (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Manchester United vs West Ham (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Leeds vs Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Wigan vs Norwich (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Crystal Palace vs Manchester City (Sunday, 2:05pm) – talkSPORT
But of course, it’s not over until the final whistle has been blown and Arsenal are sure to face an almighty siege from the Serie A club who will be looking to overturn their deficit.
Arsenal’s record away from home in this season’s Europa League is not the best either, having lost to BATE Borisov and Rennes in the knockout rounds before the quarter-finals. However, they relied on their home form to get past these opponents.
And there’s a crazy stat involving Arsenal and Napoli which firmly suggests this tie is destined for extra-time and possibly a dreaded penalty shootout.
The Neapolitans would have to win the second leg 2-0 to take it to extra-time but this scoreline is a common theme when the two sides meet.
In fact before Thursday, Arsenal and Napoli had only met in a competitive capacity twice before – with both games finishing 2-0 to the home side.
Both of these came during the 2013/14 season in the Champions League, with Arsenal winning 2-0 at the Emirates in October 2013 thanks to goals from Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.
They were in the same group that season and Napoli won the return fixture in December 2013 2-0 with Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon on target for them.
So if the same thing was to happen on Thursday then it’s set to be very nervous times for all Gooners.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
The day when the Premier League title will be won and lost for Liverpool and Man City
Canoville, Chelsea’s first black player, praises club’s response to racism
'It is going to be difficult' – Pochettino doubts Kane will return this season
Cardiff boss charged by FA for referee comments after Chelsea defeat
One player at every Premier League who must not be sold this summer
The punishments show authorities don't care about racism, says Watford striker Gray
Liverpool 'in advanced talks' with Nike to eclipse Man United kit contract
Ex-Chelsea boss has ‘deepest affection for Scotland’, says agent amid Celtic links
However, if it makes them feel any better, Arsenal’s defeat at Napoli didn’t prevent them from reaching the next stage of the competition and the Neapolitans were the ones to miss out as Borussia Dortmund, who were also in that group, scored a late goal in Marseille to finish group winners with the Gunners second.