Laurent Koscielny hailed Arsenal’s fighting spirit after they shut down Napoli to book a place in the Europa League semi-finals.
Alexandre Lacazette’s 36th-minute free-kick gave Unai Emery’s men a 1-0 win at the Stadio San Paolo, completing a dominant 3-0 aggregate triumph.
The Gunners’ game management was particularly impressive as they kept a dangerous Napoli at arm’s length for most of the contest and centre-back Koscielny took particular pride in that aspect of their performance.
“We know Napoli played in the Champions League this season and they are a good team, they have a good squad with good players,” Arsenal’s captain told BT Sport.
“We did the job at home to keep the clean sheet and scored some goals. We scored one here and then they needed to score four.
“We respect them and tried to play. We fought as well to defend and suffer together. It is good for the spirit of the team.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 18, 2019
Lacazette’s sweetly struck free-kick left Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret rooted and the striker confirmed it was a technique honed diligently on the training ground that brought his 16th goal of the season.
“Yeah, I’ve been practicing these free-kicks. I’m happy to score tonight,” he told BT Sport, before contemplating a semi-final against Emery’s former club Valencia.
“Yeah, it’s exciting,” he added. “I can’t wait to play against them.”
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