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Aaron Ramsey, Lucas Torreira lead Arsenal’s attack from midfield vs. Napoli

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The openness of Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Napoli can be reflected by the fact that both sides will feel disappointed they did not get more out of this Europa League quarterfinal first leg. The home side had chances to extend their advantage and put the tie out of reach, while Napoli wasted presentable opportunities after recovering from a dreadful start.

But that it is advantage Arsenal, ahead of the return in Naples next Thursday, is due to the electric start they made to the contest and, in particular, the performances of two central midfielders. Lucas Torreira, once of Sampdoria, and Aaron Ramsey, who will join Juventus after this season, are Serie A past and future, respectively, and both stormed forward against Italian opposition.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

It has been rare to see the two play as a partnership this season, in part because of Granit Xhaka — out injured on Thursday — and also because Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been reluctant to use Ramsey in a deeper role.3

But this game saw an attack-minded home side featuring Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang upfront and Mesut Ozil in the No. 10 role, plus Ramsey bursting forward and Torreira creating from further back.

The front three rarely combined effectively despite showing willing, so Arsenal’s best moves came from midfielders, who overpowered the exposed Allan and Fabian Ruiz; Napoli’s 4-4-2 system rendered them unsure whether to keep tight to Ozil or shut down Ramsey and Torreira.

The first goal was a delight. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, outstanding at right wing-back, dribbled across the halfway line and slipped in Ozil, who held up play, pivoted and found Ramsey. He returned possession to Ozil, who played a first-time pass to the right for Lacazette. The ball moved into the Napoli penalty area to Maitland-Niles, who controlled, turned and prodded a pass into the path of Ramsey.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

The Welsh international swept the ball into the far corner for one of those classic Arsenal goals that features forward running and neat interplay. It was not quite Jack Wilshere against Norwich or Tomas Rosicky vs. Sunderland, but a wonderful move nevertheless, of the type Napoli used to produce under Maurizio Sarri.

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