Arsenal’s impressive start to their Champions League campaign continued as Mesut Ozil inspired them to victory over Rafael Benitez’s Napoli at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
The £42m deadline day signing from Real Madrid scored his first goal for Arsenal with a brilliant finish, and then set up a second for Olivier Giroud as this Group F meeting was effectively decided within the first 15 minutes.
Arsenal’s domination ensured the rest of the game was little more than a formality as Napoli, riding high in Serie A, never threatened to upset the optimism that has swept around Arsenal and also taken them to the top of the Premier League.
At the heart of it all was Ozil, the German combining natural grace with deadly contributions that proved too much for Napoli, who had proved their own pedigree by beating last season’s Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund in their opening group game.
Meanwhile Ramires scored twice as Chelsea recorded their first points of this season’s Champions League group stage with a 4-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest at the National Arena in Bucharest.
The Brazil midfielder opened the scoring when he poked in after initial good wing-play from Andre Schurrle.
Daniel Georgievski then found his own net after a Samuel Eto’o shot was parried into his path before Ramires fired in the third after the break. Frank Lampard slotted in the fourth off the post in stoppage time.
Chelsea lie third in the table, level on three points with Basel, who defeated the Blues in their opening Group E match.
Schalke beat the Swiss side and have now won two out of two – the Bundesliga side face the Blues next in what promises to be a mouth-watering double header.
At Celtic Park, Celtic had captain Scott Brown sent off as Barcelona avenged last season’s defeat in Glasgow with a 1-0 win.
Cesc Fabregas was the match-winner, heading an Alexis Sanchez cross past Fraser Forster with 15 minutes left.
The breakthrough for the Catalans only arrived after Brown had been shown a straight red card for kicking out at Barcelona forward Neymar.
Minutes earlier Celtic had threatened an opener with James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew going close.
It was only Celtic’s second ever home defeat in the group stage of the Champions League, the first also having come at the hands of Barcelona in 2004.
Other results today: Schalke 04 1, Basel 0; Borussia Dortmund 3, Marseille 0; Zenit St. Petersburg 0, FK Austrian Wien 0; Atletico de Madrid 2, Porto 1; Ajax 1, Milan 1.
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