Arsenal’s impressive start to their season (minus the opening day loss to Aston Villa) & their Champions League campaign continued as Mesut Ozil inspired them to victory over Rafael Benitez’s Napoli at the Emirates Stadium. The £42m deadline-day signing from Real Madrid scored his first goal for Arsenal with a brilliant finish, and then set up a second for Olivier Giroud as this Group F meeting was effectively decided within the first 15 minutes. The money spent on the German international is paying off for Wenger and the Gunners.
Arsenal’s domination ensured the rest of the game was little more than a formality as Napoli, riding high in Serie A, never threatened to upset the optimism that has swept around Arsenal and also taken them to the top of the Premier League. At the heart of it all was Ozil, the German combining natural grace with deadly contributions that proved too much for Napoli, who had proved their own pedigree by beating last season’s Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund in their opening group game. Arsenal produced the perfect follow-up performance to their win in Marseille and now head a group that looked littered with hazards when the draw was made. Aaron Ramsey also produced another highly accomplished performance, setting up Ozil’s goal and continuing the outstanding form that has been a hallmark of Arsenal’s opening to the season.
Former Liverpool keeper Reina could not be blamed for either goal and he was in action to prevent a third for Arsenal with 14 minutes left, blocking from Laurent Koscielny from close range after Mikel Arteta flicked on. All that was left was for Arsenal to close out another important Champions League victory, which they did without alarm.