Arsenal are fourth in the Premier League table, holding the final Champions League qualification place, although triumphing in the Europa League offers another potential route back into the continent's elite.
There has been the odd wobble since then, but Arsenal are in the Premier League's top four and through to the last eight in European competition following a battling victory over Rennes.
Arsenal won 3-0 at the Emirates, overturning a 3-1 first-leg deficit, but their crucial second goal, scored by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, was assisted by a cross from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who appeared to be offside from Aaron Ramsey's pass. "So, for me, it will be very hard to play against them in Naples".
"We are going to think the same before every match".
'It was hard for us because we had to play with 10 men for about 50 minutes of that first game as well. I think it makes the Premier League very interesting and we're of course proud to have progressed in the Europa League'.
But Arsenal's tempo slipped and a run from Hatem Ben Arfa - an outcast under current Gunners boss Unai Emery at Paris Saint-Germain - ended with a tame shot at Petr Cech.
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"I missed us being a bit more controlled with the ball, but they left a lot of attacking players in the final third which gave us space to attack them".
"These two matches have been very hard", Emery added.
"I said to the players today, I'm excited (about) this competition, but it's exciting not only for the possibility to go to the Champions League, but also because it's one title", he said.
"Today, Inter (Milan) are out, Sevilla are out - a big surprise".
Gabon global Aubameyang is more used to featuring in the Champions League than Europe's second-tier competition, but his early impact with a goal and an assist was decisive for the Gunners.
Arsenal return to action at home to Newcastle United on April 1.