Arsenal qualified for the Champions League knockout stages as Group F runners-up, despite losing to Napoli.

The Gunners, who have reached the second phase for the 14th successive season, weathered early pressure before going close via Olivier Giroud.

Gonzalo Higuain put Napoli ahead before the Gunners' Mikel Arteta was sent off.

And although Jose Callejon scored a second for Napoli in injury time, Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 win at Marseille eliminated the Italian side.

Teams Arsenal could play in Champions League last 16

  • Bayern Munich
  • Barcelona
  • Real Madrid
  • Paris St-Germain
  • Atletico Madrid

When Argentine striker Higuain struck after 73 minutes, Napoli were on course to qualify for the last 16.

But Kevin Grosskreutz's goal for Dortmund three minutes from time in Marseille sent last season's runners-up through in their place.

Arsenal, who had to lose by three goals in order to miss out, took the sting out of the game with some controlled possession and there was no time for Napoli to grab a third after Callejon had lobbed Wojciech Szczesny to double their lead.

Dortmund, Arsenal and Napoli all finished on 12 points, but the Germans beat Arsenal to top spot on a better head-to-head record. The Gunners pipped the Italians to second place on goal difference.

As runners-up the Gunners will play a top seed, meaning they will be up against holders Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain or Atletico Madrid.

Arsene Wenger's side may have been forgiven for not approaching Napoli in their usual attacking manner, but they soon found a rhythm to their passing after an energetic opening from the hosts which saw Goran Pandev test Szczesny with an early shot.

Arsenal's first meaningful opening came on 23 minutes when a flowing exchange of passes ended with France striker Giroud's angled shot being beaten away by home goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.

With Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere on the bench, Mathieu Flamini came into the side and was instrumental in wrestling control in midfield and Rafael Benitez's men committed several fouls as their frustration grew.

The hosts had two decent opportunities to strike before half-time, though, as the energetic Dries Mertens played in Christian Maggio down the right channel. He could only lift his shot over the bar, however, as Szczesny came out to close him down.

The Arsenal goalkeeper then almost gifted Napoli a goal as he kicked Laurent Koscielny's backpass straight at Higuain, but the striker - who was a target for the Gunners in the summer - headed wide from an angle.

What you could have won

Had Arsenal held on to win the group, they would have faced one of these sides in the last 16:

  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Galatasaray
  • Olympiakos
  • Schalke
  • Zenit St Petersburg
  • AC Milan

Napoli improved around the hour mark and almost went ahead when Raul Albiol's pass found left-back Pablo Armero but his tame shot was easily saved.

Benitez's men then wasted three further chances before Higuain finally made the breakthrough, turning and finding the bottom corner after collecting Callejon's pass outside the box.

With Borussia Dortmund drawing with Marseille at this point, the Stadio San Paolo erupted as Napoli moved into second spot in the group.

The home crowd cheered further three minutes later when Arteta received a second yellow card for a foul on Callejon, having already been booked in the first half.

That set up a nervous finale, and when Callejon scored it looked like there may be a chance for Napoli to knock Arsenal out, but there was only enough time left for the Gunners to take the re-start.

Dortmund's late goal consigns Benitez, who was Chelsea's interim manager at this time last season, to the Europa League for a second consecutive campaign.

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (3)

Napoli

  • 01 Barbosa
  • 11 Maggio
  • 27 Armero
  • 85 Behrami
  • 21 Fernández Booked
  • 33 Albiol
  • 14 Mertens Booked
  • 20 Dzemaili Booked
  • 09 Higuaín
  • 19 Pandev (Insigne - 57' )
  • 07 Callejón

Substitutes

  • 03 Uvini
  • 05 Britos
  • 15 Colombo
  • 24 Insigne
  • 28 Cannavaro
  • 88 Inler
  • 91 Zapata

Arsenal

  • 01 Szczesny
  • 25 Jenkinson
  • 28 Gibbs
  • 08 Arteta Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 07 Rosicky (Monreal - 74' )
  • 20 Flamini
  • 12 Giroud Booked
  • 11 Özil
  • 19 Cazorla (Ramsey - 68' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 10 Wilshere
  • 14 Walcott
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 17 Monreal
  • 21 Fabianski
  • 23 Bendtner
Ref: Viktor Kassai

Match Stats

Shots

13 6

On target

5 1

Corners

1 0

Fouls

16 16

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Napoli 2, Arsenal 0.

90:00 +3:04 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Napoli 2, Arsenal 0.

90:00 +2:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Napoli 2, Arsenal 0. José Callejón (Napoli) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lorenzo Insigne with a through ball.

88:02

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nacho Monreal with a cross.

84:49

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

84:49

Foul by Christian Maggio (Napoli).

83:46 Booking

Booking Federico Fernández (Napoli) is shown the yellow card.

83:45 Booking

Booking Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

82:28

Offside, Napoli. Pablo Armero tries a through ball, but José Callejón is caught offside.

80:47

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

80:47

Raúl Albiol (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:21

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

80:21

Dangerous play by Valon Behrami (Napoli).

75:35 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) for a bad foul.

75:28

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

75:28

José Callejón (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Tomas Rosicky.

72:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Napoli 1, Arsenal 0. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Callejón.

70:25

Foul by Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal).

70:25

Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) wins a free kick on the left wing.

70:13

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

70:13

Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli) wins a free kick on the left wing.

68:59

Attempt missed. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by José Callejón.

68:00

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

68:00

Valon Behrami (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

67:38

Attempt saved. Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

67:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey replaces Santiago Cazorla.

66:05 Booking

Booking Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

65:49

Offside, Arsenal. Mikel Arteta tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

62:45 Booking

Booking Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

62:40

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

62:40

Valon Behrami (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:38

Attempt missed. José Callejón (Napoli) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gonzalo Higuaín.

60:29

Attempt missed. Dries Mertens (Napoli) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Christian Maggio.

59:58

Attempt blocked. Dries Mertens (Napoli) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

57:29

Attempt saved. Pablo Armero (Napoli) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lorenzo Insigne.

56:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Napoli. Lorenzo Insigne replaces Goran Pandev.

55:57

Offside, Napoli. Christian Maggio tries a through ball, but Dries Mertens is caught offside.

54:51

Attempt blocked. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

53:06

Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).

53:06

Valon Behrami (Napoli) wins a free kick on the right wing.

51:20

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

51:20

Foul by Valon Behrami (Napoli).

50:05

Dangerous play by Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal).

50:05

José Callejón (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:50

Attempt missed. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

45:00

Second Half begins Napoli 0, Arsenal 0.

45:00 +0:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Napoli 0, Arsenal 0.

44:34

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

44:34

Federico Fernández (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:05

Attempt missed. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) header from the right side of the box misses to the right.

40:58 Booking

Booking Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

40:54

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:54

Foul by Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli).

40:01

Foul by Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal).

40:01

José Callejón (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:26

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:26

Foul by Dries Mertens (Napoli).

38:15

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:15

Foul by Christian Maggio (Napoli).

37:50

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

37:50

Raúl Albiol (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:13

Attempt missed. Christian Maggio (Napoli) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Dries Mertens.

36:09

Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

36:09

José Callejón (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:09 Booking

Booking Dries Mertens (Napoli) is shown the yellow card.

35:02

Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

35:02

Foul by Dries Mertens (Napoli).

34:34

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

34:34

Foul by Dries Mertens (Napoli).

32:42

Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).

32:42

Dries Mertens (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:40

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:40

Foul by Valon Behrami (Napoli).

31:18

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:18

Foul by Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli).

30:24

Attempt missed. José Callejón (Napoli) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Blerim Dzemaili.

29:43

Offside, Napoli. Raúl Albiol tries a through ball, but José Callejón is caught offside.

28:45

Attempt blocked. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

26:19

Foul by Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal).

26:19

Christian Maggio (Napoli) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:31

Attempt missed. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

22:27

Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mathieu Flamini.

19:54

Corner, Napoli. Conceded by Carl Jenkinson.

15:55

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:55

Foul by Goran Pandev (Napoli).

14:27

Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).

14:27

Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:33

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:33

Foul by Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli).

12:25

Attempt blocked. Dries Mertens (Napoli) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

11:12

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:12

Foul by Valon Behrami (Napoli).

8:22

Attempt saved. Goran Pandev (Napoli) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Dries Mertens.

7:27

Foul by Valon Behrami (Napoli).

7:27

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:26

Offside, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

4:56

Offside, Napoli. Dries Mertens tries a through ball, but Gonzalo Higuaín is caught offside.

3:29

José Callejón (Napoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:29

Foul by Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal).

2:48

Foul by Goran Pandev (Napoli).

2:48

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:01

Foul by Dries Mertens (Napoli).

2:01

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:03

Offside, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

0:40

Offside, Napoli. José Callejón tries a through ball, but Gonzalo Higuaín is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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