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2 vs 0
Played
December 12, 2013 1:15 AM IST
Stadio San Paolo — Napoli
Referee:‬ V. Kassai‎
Attendance:‬ 34027‎
 
 
 
Top of the Match
Gonzalo Higuaín
Gonzalo Higuaín
Napoli
José Callejón
José Callejón
Napoli
Flop of the Match
Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal
Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal

Napoli 2-0 Arsenal: 10-man Gunners go through despite two-goal defeat

Arsene Wenger's side were beaten in Italy, with Mikel Arteta shown a red card in the second half, but the result still sees them qualify at the Serie A outfit's expense

By Jack Davies

Gonzalo Higuain Napoli Arsenal Champions League 12112013
Getty Images
Two late goals for Napoli proved to be in vain as they crashed out of the Champions League despite a 2-0 victory over 10-man Arsenal.

Needing to win by three goals to definitely go through, it took until the 73rd minute for the Italians to get on the scoresheet, Gonzalo Higuain hitting a shot on the turn from around 18 yards to send the home fans into raptures, before Mikel Arteta saw red for a second bookable offence.

VIEW FROM THE SAN PAOLO
By Julian Bennetts

So, Arsene Wenger, is your glass half-full or half-empty? When the draw was made, second place behind Borussia Dortmund would not have been sneered at, but this was a real opportunity missed. Arsenal were in control in Naples but let it slip, and they paid a heavy price with their potential opponents in the last 16.

They created few opportunities and were punished when Gonzalo Higuain scored, with Jose Callejon's late, late strike counting for little. Ultimately, though, this was a fantastic Champions League group, the first time three sides have finished on 12 points. Napoli were unfortunate and Dortmund lucky, while Arsenal probably got what they deserved for slackness on the final day.
But news from Marseille was met with cries of despair from the stands, with Kevin Grosskreutz firing Borussia Dortmund to a last-gasp 2-1 victory and sending the Germans through as winners of Group F.

Jose Callejon added a second for Napoli at the death, but it was too little too late for the Serie A club.

Arsenal go through as runners-up and have now qualified from the group stages for 14 consecutive seasons.

Pepe Reina once again missed out for the hosts, but was fit enough for a place among the substitutes, while Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere dropped to the Arsenal bench in favour of Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini as Arsene Wenger made two alterations to the side that were held 1-1 by Everton on Sunday.

Napoli applied the early pressure, Goran Pandev forcing Wojciech Szczesny into a save from a tight angle in the ninth minute after receiving the ball from a Dries Mertens cross.

Wenger’s men weathered the early storm and Olivier Giroud finally posed a threat at the other end of the pitch in the 23rd minute, with stand-in keeper Rafael Cabral punching away his effort from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Christian Maggio then found some space down the right seven minutes before the break, but chipped over with Szczesny advancing, before the Pole’s blushes were saved as Higuain nodded wide from a dreadful attempted clearance.

Mesut Ozil unleashed a shot from distance four minutes into the second period, but saw it bounce well wide of the left-hand post.

Pablo Armero was denied by Szczesny at close range, Callejon dragged a shot wide and Higuain blazed over as Napoli reacted to a raucous home support.

But Higuain, who was linked with a move to Arsenal in the close season, appeared to have sent Napoli through in the 74th minute, turning superbly just inside the penalty area and sending a left-footed effort beyond Szczesny for his first goal against English opposition in the Champions League.

And Napoli received a boost just a couple of minutes later, as Arteta was given his marching orders for a second yellow card, before Callejon chipped a second from close range in stoppage time.

But it left the hosts one goal short of qualification as they became the first club to rack up 12 points but not go through to the last 16, while Arsenal could face the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain after finishing second in the group.



Napoli

1
Rafael
Goalkeeper
3.00
21
3.00
-
Pablo Armero
Defender
3.50
33
Raúl Albiol
Defender
3.00
11
Christian Maggio
Midfielder
3.50
20
Blerim Dzemaili
Midfielder
41′
3.00
85
Valon Behrami
Midfielder
3.00
7
3.50
9
4.00
14
Dries Mertens
Striker
36′
2.50
19
Goran Pandev
Striker
57′
2.00

Arsenal

3.00
1
2.50
4
3.00
6
3.00
25
2.50
28
2.50
7
Tomas Rosicky
Midfielder
75′
1.50
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
63′ 76′
2.50
11
Mesut Özil
Midfielder
2.00
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
68′
3.00
20
2.50
12

Substitutes

15
 - 
3
Bruno Uvini
Defender
 - 
5
 - 
-
 - 
88
Gökhan Inler
Midfielder
 - 
24
3.50
91
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
21
 - 
5
2.00
17
Monreal
Defender
75′
 - 
10
Jack Wilshere
Midfielder
2.50
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
68′ 84′
 - 
14
 - 
23

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 6
Times In IST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
6 2