2 charity events set to take place prior to tomorrows Arsenal v Crystal Palace clash

Tomorrow  Arsenal face Crystal Palace in another key clash in the race for a top 4 finish.

More important than the game though are the charity evens going on around the ground today.

Firstly we have fans of Arsenal and Crystal Palace coming together to walk to raise awareness of mental health and male suicide.

The walk will begin at Selhurst Park at 9:30am and finishing at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in North London.  The fans will cover a distance of around 12 miles which will take about 4 to 4.5 hours (including stops).

Proposed stops and details of the route are shown below;

Time/ETA Location Distance Durations Nearest Station
09:30 Selhurst Park Stadium – SE25 8QB N/A N/A Norwood Junction, Selhurst or Thornton Heath
10:50 to 11:00 Half Moon Pub, Herne Hill – SE24 9HU 4.3m/6.9km ~1:30 hrs Herne Hill
Break ~20 mins
12:30 to 12:40 Prince William Henry Pub, Blackfriars – SE1 8NL 4.0m/6.4km ~1:20 hrs Blackfriars, Southwark Tube
Break ~20 mins
13:35 to 13:45 Wetherspoons (Angel) – N1 9LQ 2.0m/3.2km 45 mins Angel Tube
Not a Break Final pick-up / meeting point
14:05 to 14:15 Piebury Corner –N7 8DL 1.3m/2.0km 30 mins Drayton Park or Holloway Road Tube
15:15 Emirates Stadium – N7 7AJ Finish and photos

The event itself is not about raising money and is all about raising awareness. It is aimed at sending out a message to encourage people to open up, to talk and to understand that they are not alone.

Secondly we have Arsenal in the Community partnering Islington Foodbank.

At the fixture against Crystal Palace there will be two donation collection points – one at podium level outside the Arsenal Museum and the other outside the Community Hub.

Fans are being encouraged to bring tinned food and non-perishable goods to the game which will then be made available to those that need it in the local community via the foodbank.

It is fantastic that Arsenal in the Community have decided to partner Islington Foodbank, continuing their long term pledge to help charities and residents of the local area.

We hope fans of Arsenal and Crystal Palacesupport both brilliant causes.



Match Report: Napoli 0 – 1 Arsenal

Napoli (0) 0 Arsenal (1) 1
UEFA Europa League, Quarter Final, Second Leg
Stadio San Paolo, Piazza Giorgio Ascarelli, 80125 Napoli NA, Italy
Thursday, 18th April 2019. Kick-off time: 8.00pm
(4-2-3-1) Čech; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Torreira, Xhaka; Kolašinac, Ramsey, Lacazette; Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Özil, Iwobi, Leno, Mustafi, Guendouzi.
Scorers: Lacazette
Yellow Card: Čech
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (Romania)
Attendance: circa 50,000
Cometh the moment, cometh the man. A world-class goal by Alexandre Lacazette from 25-yards after just thirty-six minutes propelled us into the semi-final of this competition, with the first leg being against the Spanish side Valencia (Mr. Emery’s old club) at The Emirates on Thursday 2nd May. Nikola Maksimovic carelessly scythed down Alexandre Lacazette outside the Napoli box for a direct free-kick to the away side; as soon as the ball left the Arsenal striker’s foot, it became patently obvious that there was only to be one victor tonight here at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples. The only unfortunate moment of the evening was the sad sight of Aaron Ramsey limping off with a suspected hamstring injury just before Alexandre Lacazette’s goal.
There is always talk in the media about “game management”; a term that is often used rather glibly, but tonight, Mr. Emery’s team gave a masterclass in the subject. If qualifications were given out for it, then surely most players in the Arsenal team would qualify for an honours degree in the subject against, what has to be said, a very disappointing and lacklustre Napoli side.
Right from the onset of the match, Arsenal assumed control. Aaron Ramsey claimed a penalty within the first ten minutes, which was denied by the Romanian referee almost immediately after the event. We simply grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck, brought it to heel and showed through hard work and action that we had a steely determination not only to win, but not to allow Napoli any space and time to score. Although it has to be said that the home side did indeed have their chances, but all were half-hearted and criminally squandered.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan looked as if he was playing with a newly found enthusiasm, which was refreshing to see, especially as his last few performances have been questionable to say the least. He was causing Napoli problems and may have even scored himself, but for the agility of the Napoli goalkeeper, Alex Meret, who also pulled off a fine save from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang late in the second half which should have seen Arsenal finish the match beyond the reach of the home side. Arsenal simply did everything right tonight in this vocal cauldron of Italian football. They played without fear, concern and were aware of the whereabouts of their team-mates were to receive passes and move within the framework of the system. 
Mr. Emery had obviously done sterling work with them during the past week in order to ensure no mistakes would be made tonight, and his and the backroom staff’s endeavours should be roundly applauded for this result. Maybe the hard work is done in the Premiership week after week when Arsenal face some top-class opponents and perhaps it could be that Serie A and their equivalent leagues across Europe are simply not up to the standard of the Premiership? It surely is no accident that for the first time in 35 years that four English clubs are in the last four of the two European club competitions next month either. But as far as the Europa League is concerned, a competition that Mr. Emery has won three times previously, we must surely look at the other teams in the competition and feel that this year could be our year to win silverware at this level of European football, as well as finishing in the top four in the Premiership also.
To summarise, full marks for a much-maligned Arsenal side, who not only brought a smile to us tonight, but more importantly gave themselves the impetus to have the chance for glory in this, Mr. Emery’s first season in the hot seat. Sadly, in his post-match interview, he was unable to state whether Aaron Ramsey had played his last match for us or not; just how good would that be if his last match for us could be the final of this competition in Baku on Wednesday 29th May.Dare we dream? Hell, yes. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Arsenal favourites despite tricky away trip to Naples

Arsenal’s Europa League journey continues tonight with the tricky away trip to Napoli. The Gunners go into the 2nd leg tie with a 2-0 lead following victory in London last week.

Whilst they are taking a fairly comfortable lead to Naples, it is by no means a tie-winning one.

Napoli have a tremendous home record this year – 2nd in Serie A. Their only defeat this season at the Stadio San Paolo was a 2-1 defeat to table toppers Juventus.

Earlier this season they beat Liverpool at home in the Champions League.

Napoli’s ground will be a fortress of hate, and you couple their good home form with Arsenal’s poor away and it is going to be a rollercoaster of a tie.

Victory against Watford on Monday was Arsenal’s 3rd away win since December 1st. The other two coming in the FA Cup against Blackpool and against bottom of the table Huddersfield Town in the Premier League. It is certainly not the form that would have you feeling comfortable travelling to Italy today.

The game against Watford showed just how psychologically damaged Arsenal are away from home.

Despite being a goal up and facing 10-men from the 11th minute, Arsenal laboured to the win. Vulnerable at the back and lacking creativity up top, Watford had their chances.

At least Arsenal did come away from Vicarage Road with the 3 points which pushed Arsenal into 4th and ensured they have two routes to Champions League football next season.

Last season Arsenal won just 4 games away in the league. This season it is 6. 10 away wins out of 35 is worrying form.

Worryingly, Arsenal have also lost both knock-out away legs in the Europa League this season – away to BATE Borisov and Rennes.

The positivity from Arsenal’s point of view is the clean sheet that they bring from London. This gives the side a huge advantage and would mean that if they do get the away goal; Napoli would need to score 4 to go through.

Arsenal’s last away match in Italy was at the Last 16 stage of last season’s Europa League, winning 2-0 against AC Milan. They have also progressed in Europe 16 out of 17 times they have led by two or more goals.

Napoli have not overturned a first leg deficit in Europe since 1989 – a run of 8 consecutive ties, whilst Unai Emery has one more Europa League knockout stage matches than any other manager – 25.

Whilst all the historical statistics point to Arsenal progressing, there is that away form.

The first goal tonight will be key.

Arsenal get it and the tie is dead. Napoli surely will not score 4. If Napoli get it, and get it early, it is “game-on”.

All those going out there, stay safe and look after each other
Hopefully by tomorrow morning we are all booking package holidays to Benidorm for the semi-final.

Up The Arsenal