Arsenal secured their place in the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday night, when they went to Naples to beat Italian side Napoli 1-0 on the evening and 3-0 on aggregate, and after the match a defender was singled out for praise on social media.
The Gunners looked to have taken a massive step towards a place in the last four when they opened up a two goal advantage at the Emirates Stadium last week, but with their away form being average at best this term, nothing could be taken for granted as they headed to Italy.
Many expected Arsenal to have to weather a storm in the early stages, but in truth one never really came, much to the delight of Unai Emery and his coaching staff.
It soon became apparent that the only way the Italians were going to get back in the tie was if the Gunners gifted them a route back, but any chance of that happening was extinguished when Alexandre Lacazette sent a wonderful free kick into the back of the Napoli net, and with them then needing four goals to progress, their challenge fizzled out tamely.
This was a wonderful night for Arsenal, as they moved into the semi-finals of the secondary competition for the second time in as many seasons, to keep their double chance of qualification to next year’s Champions League alive.
One man who shone on the night for the Gunners was defender Laurent Koscielny. The French defender has had his fair share of injury troubles this term, but he looks back to his best at the present time and was a rock in Italy.
Arsenal fans took to social media after the contest to highlight just how good he was, and what he brings to their side as a package.
Here are some of their posts:
Socrates and Koscielny have to stay injury free till the end. They have been solid. #afc
— Imran patel (@Bergy10_afc) April 18, 2019
— Alex Dann (@AlexDann9) April 18, 2019
— Mikko (@Mikkony) April 18, 2019
— Alex Batt (@AlexBatt) April 18, 2019
What a game Koscielny has had. Commanding center half performance. The Arsenal defense five have worked their socks off for this clean sheet and deserve every bit of it. Solid European away performance! #AFC
— Mihir (@ZeOneFourAll) April 18, 2019
Unai’s at the wheel. pic.twitter.com/S4YSr0iflZ
— Zeus Cannon (@Zeus_Cannon) April 18, 2019
Arsenal defence gets ridiculed a lot but they look so much better when Koscielny and Sokratis play together. Two very good defenders abd Arsenal have now just conceded one goal in 7 games. #AFC
— Derek O'Reilly (@DerekOR14) April 18, 2019
Koscielny was a beast tonight. If only we could clone a younger version of him #afc
— 🇵🇰Waseem Ahmed🇵🇰 (@Wasi_03) April 18, 2019