Napoli 0 Arsenal 1 (0-3 agg): Lacazette stunner sees Gunners coast through

Arsenal boss Unai Emery will face former club Valencia in the Europa League semifinals after Alexandre Lacazette sealed victory at Napoli.

Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring against Napoli.   -  Getty Images

Alexandre Lacazette fired Arsenal to an accomplished 1-0 win at Napoli as Unai Emery's men cruised into the Europa League semifinals 3-0 on aggregate. 

The Premier League side began confidently in defence of its first-leg advantage and did not allow a couple of close defensive shaves and a hamstring injury to Aaron Ramsey to throw it off course. 

Lacazette's wonderful 36th-minute free-kick proved the difference on the night, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's host with a mountain to climb. 

Arkadiusz Milik's wayward finishing did little to help its cause and Emery can look forward to a semifinal showdown with his former club Valencia. 

It was Napoli which threatened first when Lacazette was dispossessed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who charged forward on the break in the 17th minute and collected Fabian Ruiz's pass to find Jose Callejon.  

Petr Cech denied the ex-Real Madrid forward before Milik fluffed his lines from a close-range header – misses Napoli would regret shortly after the abrupt conclusion to what might prove Ramsey's last Arsenal appearance.  

Nikola Maksimovic fouled Lacazette 25 yards from goal and the France striker dispatched a sweet strike beyond a motionless Alex Meret in the Napoli goal.  

Meret partially atoned for his passivity by making a brilliant save from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Ramsey's replacement Henrikh Mkhitaryan laid on a glorious 48th-minute chance. 

Lorenzo Insigne appeared to be offside when he charged in behind the Arsenal defence to test Cech – the Italy international's last act before being substituted on his 300th Napoli appearance. 

Left-back Faouzi Ghoulam and Callejon both fired wide as the home team tried in vain to build an ambitious final charge. 

Milik's woeful attempt to slide home at the back post with 15 minutes to play summed up his efforts, with Nacho Monreal's carelessly booted clearance straight at Cech arguably the closest Napoli came to a goal. 

Key Opta Facts

- Arsenal has kept nine clean sheets in its last 11 European games, conceding just four goals in total in that period.
- Napoli has lost three consecutive European games for the first time since February 2013.
- Arsenal had just 30.3 per cent of possession, its lowest such figure in any competition since February 2017 (25.7 per cent against Bayern Munich in the Champions League).
- Emery has now won 26 matches in the Europa League knockout stages – more than any other manager.

What's next  

Arsenal hosts Crystal Palace on Sunday as its battle for a top-four place in the Premier League continues, while Juventus could be Serie A champion by the time Napoli welcomes top-four aspirants Atalanta. 

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