Europa League Review - Arsenal score 2-0 win over Napoli

By Sports Desk April 12, 2019

Goals from Aaron Ramsey and an own goal from Kalidou Koulibaly gave Arsenal a 2-0 win over Napoli in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals.

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  • James set for Atletico? That's a stretch – Cerezo James set for Atletico? That's a stretch – Cerezo

    Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo denied James Rodriguez is poised to join the LaLiga side, adding there have not been negotiations for the Real Madrid midfielder.

    Tipped to move to Napoli throughout the off-season, Atletico have reportedly emerged as the favourites to sign James as the Italian outfit and Madrid struggle to reach an agreement.

    James is set to leave Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, who opted not to make the deal permanent at the end of 2018-19.

    Asked about Colombia star James, Cerezo told reporters: "Atletico are interested in great players and James is a great player, but from that to he's going to come, there's some distance.

    "Negotiations? Not that I know of, no."

    Atletico have been busy in the transfer market, breaking a club record to sign Portuguese sensation Joao Felix, while also adding Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera, Felipe, Renan Lodi and Ivan Saponjic following the departures of stars like Antoine Griezmann, Rodri, Lucas Hernandez and Diego Godin.

    Diego Simeone's transfer business is far from over, however, with Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier and Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso reportedly close to moving to the Spanish capital.

    "We've had a few signings and are in negotiations for a few more," Cerezo said. "Negotiations can end well or badly, but there are negotiations.

    "Everything's going well, the team is training well, blending in well and very happy at Los Angeles de San Rafael. Now we're waiting for next season with a month left to go."

  • Mertens: Napoli must buy players amid James links Mertens: Napoli must buy players amid James links

    Dries Mertens said Napoli must buy new and "top level" players if they want to dethrone Serie A champions Juventus.

    Napoli have been linked to Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez throughout the transfer window as they look to eclipse back-to-back runners-up finishes.

    Colombia star James is wanted by head coach Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli, though a deal with the LaLiga giants is yet to be completed.

    As the season edges closer, Napoli – who finished 11 points adrift of Juve last term – need to reinforce their squad, according to veteran forward Mertens.

    "I just want to say that I see other teams are buying a lot, we've signed Kostas [Manolas]," the 32-year-old Belgium international, who has been linked to the Chinese Super League, said during a Q&A.

    "All those we buy must be at the top level and therefore someone like James would be welcome to aim even higher. He could make the difference.

    "I think we need to buy great players to raise the level of the team. We already have a strong squad, but if we want to win something, we need to buy in order to raise the level. That is clear."

    Napoli have already boosted their defence with the signing of Greece international Manolas from Italian rivals Roma.

    Manolas is set to form one of the best centre-back pairings in Serie A alongside Kalidou Koulibaly following his €36million arrival.

    "I found a very good atmosphere and a warm welcome," Manolas said. "I won't tell you the reason I left Roma, as it's personal. The first call I received about Napoli was from my agent, then the director and the coach.

    "They made me feel secure about my decision and it was clear straight away that they really wanted me in this team. I never had doubts, that's why I chose Napoli and I am sure I made the right decision.

    "I liked watching the way Napoli played and was eager to become a part of it. I'd give anything to win the Scudetto here.

    "Carlo Ancelotti is unique for what he's won throughout his career. I promise that I'll do everything I can to help the team achieve their targets and aim as high as possible."

  • Sarri betrayed Napoli by joining Juventus – Insigne Sarri betrayed Napoli by joining Juventus – Insigne

    Napoli star Lorenzo Insigne reiterated that Maurizio Sarri betrayed the club by joining Serie A champions Juventus, while the captain said he wants to retire at Stadio San Paolo.

    Former Napoli head coach Sarri angered players and fans in Naples when he swapped Premier League outfit Chelsea for rivals Juventus last month.

    Sarri guided Napoli to three consecutive top-three finishes during his time at the club before leaving for Chelsea in 2018.

    Insigne was vocal at the time, warning a move to Juve would represent "a betrayal" of Napoli and the club icon stood by his comments on Monday.

    "I said it and I say it again, for us Neapolitans, that was a betrayal," Insigne said during a Q&A session.

    "Now we have to focus on ourselves and try to beat him. The Scudetto is a dream for all of us and we will try once more."

    Insigne's future has been the subject of speculation as he waits to sign a new deal with Napoli.

    The 28-year-old – who emerged from the youth team of his boyhood club in 2010 – is contracted to Napoli until 2022.

    Insigne has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool previously, and when asked if he could move abroad the Italy international added: "No. I'm still young, I'm happy in Naples and want to stay here for the rest of my career.

    "Scoring that goal against Real Madrid gave me such strong sensations and I hope other young Neapolitan lads can feel the same way in future.

    "It is the dream of all Neapolitan boys and I am very proud to be in this position."

    Insigne made 28 Serie A appearances last season, scoring 10 goals as Napoli finished runners-up to Juventus.

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