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Former Arsenal target tries to do Gunners a favour ... before another ruins everything

Florian Thauvin thought he had earned Marseille a draw in Naples last night ... before Gonzalo Higuain played the spoilsport.

As you are more than likely well aware by now Arsenal have defeated Borussia Dortmund in their backyard through a goal from Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh international’s second half header proved enough to give The Gunners victory in a tight affair at Signal Iduna Park - and send the travelling support into absolute raptures.

The result puts Arsenal within touching distance of the next round, but they also know that in the Group of Death they could find themselves yanked back into the doldrums by any of their remaining rivals.

Which is why last night could have been even better - as three former Arsenal targets played a massive role in the other fixture from the same group.

Napoli defeated Marseille 3-2 at the Stadio San Paolo - as Rafa Benitez’s men were made to work for their three points against the group’s bottom team.

At one point it looked as if Napoli were plain sailing for the win. Goals from Gokhan Inler and Gonzalo Higuain had put Napoli 2-1 up after 24 minutes after Andre Ayew, another historic Arsenal linkee, had given the French travellers a tenth minute lead.

Then came another one-time heavy Arsenal target. Florian Thauvin was earmarked before the game as the danger man by the Italian press, and he almost proved that point yesterday.

In January, Arsenal and Newcastle United both spoke to Thauvin about a potential move to England, but he instead decided to remain in France by joining up with Lille - who immediately loaned him back to former club Bastia.

But before even playing for his new club he had moved on, joining Marseille after a bitter transfer wrangle this summer.

Arsenal were again tentatively linked, but nothing concrete came through on this occasion.

And last night the young Frenchman, adjudged as a future star of the national team, scored his first goal in European competition.

He grabbed an equaliser in the game, a result that would have made Arsenal very happy as the undisputed group leaders.

But it was another one that got away who ruined the party.

Higuain, a confirmed summer target who was forgotten as Luis Suarez entered the viewfinder, bagged a winner for the Partenopei - leaving them level on points with Arsenal at the top.

It just goes to show you though that Arsenal are always targeting top quality players, or at least the media links them with such moves.

Here are the goals from the game…

image: © luigig

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