An Aaron Ramsey effort and Kalidou Koulibaly's own goal gave Arsenal a 2-0 victory over Napoli in their first leg of their Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday – and a rare and valuable clean sheet to take to Italy in a week's time.
Arsenal took the lead in the 14th minute by Ramsey, who finished off a sweeping move down the right, calmly slotting the ball past the Napoli keeper Alex Meret.
They doubled the advantage 10 minutes later after a moment of individual brilliance from Lucas Torreira, who dashed through the Napoli midfield before spinning and switching the ball to his left foot, finding the net with a heavily deflected shot off Koulibaly.
The Gunners pressed forward repeatedly as the half wore on, but they were unable to capitalize, despite repeated shots on the goal from strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Napoli had Meret to thank for numerous saves.
Carlo Ancelotti's men poured forward at the start of the second half in the game of an away goal, with a striker Lorenzo Insigne putting the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled offside, and Koulibaly Denied moments later when keeper Petr Cech tipped his header over the bar.
The game quickly opened up and Ramsey, who joins the Napoli rivals and Serie A leaders in Juventus in the closing season, and Nacho Monreal created chances at the other end but were unable to outwit Meret again
Napoli went closest to scoring when Insigne raced down the right and crossed to Piotr Zielinski, but the Pole's right-footed strike shot up over the bar.
The Italian side has now failed to beat English opponents away from the San Paolo stadium in nine attempts in the European competition, and they must be scoring in home if they are to progress in the competition.