Napoli prepare for Arsenal with six-goal thriller

Napoli looked dangerous in front of goal against Udinese but Arsenal can take heart from some sloppy defending.

It was a dramatic evening at the Stadio San Paolo as Napoli took on Udinese, but it ended in frustration for Rafa Benitez' side.

Goran Pandev fired Napoli into a 2-0 lead and seemed to be headed for three points against a stuttering Udinese.

But the visitors were given a way back when a corner was headed towards goal by Thomas Heurtaux and Federico Fernandez could only put the ball in his own net while attempting to clear.

Napoli's defence looked shaky all evening, something which will give Arsenal a real boost, and a poor pass from Serie A debutant Anthony Reveillere gave Bruno Fernandes the chance to lob 'keeper Rafael, in for the injured Pepe Reina, to level.

But there were still more twists in the tale, Blerim Dzemaili playing in place of compatriot Valon Behrami, who has a foot injury, restored Napoli's lead in the 72nd minute after Gonzalo Higuain saw a shot saved.

Just as it looked like Napoli would take maximum points after all, Napoli's defence was caught napping again at a corner with 10 minutes remaining and Dusan Basta punished them.

The 3-3 draw was a disappointing result for Napoli who are falling off the Scudetto pace and Benitez needs a result in mid-week if he is to prevent suggestions that his season is coming off the rails.

While Arsenal should be wary of the ease with which Napoli found the net, their defensive frailty will be a major boost for Arsene Wenger.

image: © luigig

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