Arsenal have a chance to match or better their Europa League campaign from last season as they take on Napoli in the quarterfinals. Last year, the Gunners failed to get the better of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid despite playing with a man advantage for almost 90 full minutes in the semifinals.
Known as the Europa League specialist for winning a hat-trick of trophies with Spanish club Sevilla, Unai Emery will be looking to take Arsenal to European glory for the first time since they won the Cup winners Cup in 1994.
The next hurdle in their path presents itself in the form of Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli. Luckily for the Gunners, they have enjoyed a good record over Italian clubs. In 35 games, Arsenal have managed win 18 games and lose just eight times against Italian opposition.
The last time they faced an Italian club was in the Europa League last season. A 5-1 aggregate win against AC Milan in the last-16 saw them cruise into the quarterfinals.
The North London-based team had no problems asserting themselves on Napoli when the pair last met in the group stages of the Champions League in the 2013/14 season. Arsenal won 2-0 at home and played out a goalless draw at Naples.
However, they failed to overcome a 4-0 deficit against AC Milan in the last-16 of the Champions League in the 2011/12 season. Arsenal managed to net three goals at the Emirates but were unable to win the tie.
Other notable victories for Arsenal over Italian clubs include a 3-1 aggregate win over Udinese in the play-off for a Champions League spot in 2011, a win through a penalty shootout against Roma in the 2008/09 season in the Champions League and a 2-0 aggregate win over Milan in the season prior to that. They also defeated Juventus in the quarter-finals of the 2005-06 season.
Arsenal have been eliminated by an Italian team just once after the turn of the century and will be looking to keep up the record when they face Napoli.