Arsenal's commanding run in all competitions was extended last night as Arsene Wenger oversaw a thrilling 2-0 victory over a team who were supposed to be a tough group's dark horse; Napoli. The evening was punctuated by two golazos as Mesut Ozil opened up his Gunners account with a cool finish from distance, while on-form Olivier Giroud doubled the club's lead in the 15th minute.
'At home that first half is one of the best halves we've played in a long time,' Wenger is quoted to have said by the Daily Mail. 'It was a very enjoyable game with a fantastic first half, played at a great pace. There was belief and authority in our game. The finishing was great.
'The second half was more cautious but in patches when we went forward you could see the third goal was there. Napoli suffered in the first half and the chased the ball a lot. That took a lot of energy out of them. They didn't give up, but they were tired. They're a very good team, that's why the trip to Naples will be difficult and a big fight.'
While there were many positives to take away from Arsenal's 10th successive victory such as Giroud's link-up play, Flamini acting as the heartbeat in the defensive zones, Aaron Ramsey's continued excellence and Wenger and Steve Bould would have no doubt enjoyed knowing they will not have to wash their sheets after their rearguard kept them clean all game.
The lasting memory of Tuesday's triumph, though, will rightly be Ozil's first goal as a Gunner. He said: 'A wonderful team, wonderful fans - my first Champions League game at home was unbelievable. Thanks all.'
But how did the fans react?
The Ozil goal actually shocked me with its brilliance!— Arsenalultra32 (@arsenalultra32) October 2, 2013
Super-volley by Mesut Ozil, excellent assist by Aaron Ramsey. Great assist by Ozil for the 2nd goal.— Ahmad Fikri (@akieez) October 1, 2013
Ozil's goal last night was caramel, pure caramel. He deserves the plaudits— Robin Schmidt (@DirSchmidt) October 2, 2013
Just saw Ozil's goal, my word what a finish— Örd (@ArdSfarqa) October 1, 2013
Ozil's touch was nuts on that goal— Evan Turpen (@ekturpen) October 1, 2013
Ozil's goal was actually unbelievable. Looked alot easier than what it was, brilliant player— Jack Anderson (@JackAndoEFC) October 1, 2013
Ozil's goal tonight was just ridiculous technique. Why the f*** did Madrid ever agree to sell him #madness— TomPratt18 (@AFCTom18) October 1, 2013
@KILLAIMPACT my brain has a 1080p copy of the ozil goal saved to its hard drive. That goal was the sex. (No link tho sorry)— Bobby Bouché (@bingbangbuche) October 1, 2013
Ozil had a goal ?— Murshid Muhammed ™ (@Murshid_bobzz) October 2, 2013
image: © Ronnie MAcdonald