10 reasons behind Arsenal's terrific turnaround
Arsenal racked up their tenth consecutive victory on Tuesday night after stunning Napoli with a lesson in European football.
First-half strikes from £42.5million summer signing Mesut Ozil and the in-form Olivier Giroud saw Arsene Wenger's side cement their position at the top of Group F.
The impressive 2-0 victory caps an incredible run for the north London club who are also sitting pretty at the summit of the Barclays Premier League after five wins from six games.
To celebrate their landmark result, here are 10 reasons which have helped inspire Arsenal's terrific turnaround.
Giroud the goal machine
Not only does Olivier Giroud have the best haircut in football, he can now lay claim to being one of the hottest strikers in the game. The France international has led the line in exemplary fashion for Arsenal this season, already finding the back of the net on six occasions.
Wenger earmarked a new striker in the summer, launching audacious moves for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney, and his failure to land either of those big-name targets appeared to leave Arsenal staring at another trohpyless season. But Giroud's stunning form has suggested that might not be the case.
Matt's back with a bang
Mathieu Flamini was thrust into his second spell at the Emirates midway through the north London derby. But far from being daunted by the occasion, the 28-year-old relished the battle. After coming on as a substitute just before the interval he remained on the pitch at half-time and hasn't stopped running since.
Arsenal have been lacking a leader, and Flamini might just be the answer. Napoleon would be in awe of the way in which he bosses the Arsenal midfield. The gritty midfielder left for AC Milan in 2008 with the feeling that he still had more to offer at Arsenal. And since his return, he hasn't disappointed.
Mesut's the magic man
With just one hour to go before the transfer window closed, news filtered through that Arsenal had landed one of the brightest stars in world football. Incredibly, Wenger had not so much smashed the club's transfer record, but dealt a seismic dent in it.
Mesut Ozil had arrived from Real Madrid in a £42.5million deal, and the bulging-eyed German looks to be worth every penny. Touch, technique, timing, Ozil has it - and the rest. His first goal in an Arsenal shirt against Napoli was dreamy, and Arsenal supporters will be pinching themselves at the prospect of Ozil donning the red and white every week.
Move over, Bale
Once a target of the Emirates boo boys, Aaron Ramsey has been nothing short of a revelation this season. The Welshman may be scoring for fun - four goals in the Premier League, four strikes in Europe and one for Wales - but it's not just his goalscoring exploits which have stunned this season.
He seems to be all over the park, possessing an engine Mercedes would be proud of. Still only 22, Ramsey has emerged as one of the first names on Wenger's teamsheet. London has a new Welsh wizard in town... Gareth who?
Home is where the heart is
It hasn't been a happy home for Arsenal since their move from Highbury in 2006, but judging on the atmosphere created inside the Emirates on Tuesday night, times may be changing. The Arsenal faithful, divided on the future of Wenger and the Arsenal hierarchy, united on Tuesday night to deliver a stupendous atmosphere and their efforts did not go unnoticed.
'Great night, lads. What a nice atmosphere at the Emirates,' said captain Mikel Arteta. 'My first Champions League game at home was unbelievable,' added Ozil.
Case for the defence
Once the laughing stock of English football, Arsenal's back five have discovered a new-found resoluteness this term. Laurent Koscielny reads the game like a fine novel, while Per Mertesacker is showing just why he has racked up almost a century of appearances for Germany. Bacary Sagna has put his injury woes behind him. So too has Kieran Gibbs.
And what of Wojciech Szczesny? He's always had the confidence, but now he's delivering on that inner belief with a string of commanding displays.
Strength in depth
Three words not usually associated with Arsenal. But following the arrivals of Ozil and Flamini, Wenger is blessed with options in the middle of the park.
Jack Wilshere was forced to watch Wednesday night's game from the bench while the crocked quartet of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, and Lukas Podolski didn't even feature. And we shouldn't forget Abou Diaby. Can Wenger keep all his stars happy?
It smells like team spirit
Success on the pitch breeds confidence and a togetherness, and this Arsenal team seemingly have the latter in abundance.
Whether it's the banter on the training ground, high-fives after a goal, and the celebratory pictures posted on Instagram afterwards, there is no question the red half of London is as happy as the Brady Bunch. But can they maintain their team spirit on a cold, wet evening in the North West?
While Manchester United have been hit with a fixture list fresh from a horror movie, Arsenal's start to the season has been as easy as it gets. Remove Tottenahm and Napoli - whom they both faced at home - and the Gunners couldn't have been dealt an easier hand. It will get harder of course with games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund just around the corner.
And finally... The Boss
The Arsenal supporters don't sing his name as often as they once did, but a chorus of 'There's Only One Arsene Wenger' did echo around the Emirates on Tuesday night in appreciation of the legendary boss.
The Frenchman survived calls from to lose his job after the opening-day defeat against Aston Villa, and then refused to panic in the transfer market, before landing Flamini on a free and spending wisely on Ozil. Can he finally lead Arsenal to a trophy after eight barren seasons? Only time will tell.
Credit: Phil Dunca/SportsMail