Mission Impossible: Arsenal 1 – 3 Monaco – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 1 – 3 Monaco

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Monaco are heralded for their excellent defensive displays, while Arsenal have the offensive flair. A recipe for a tough, tactical game.

And that’s exactly what the first half was. Monaco stood very, very firm, stifling Arsenal’s attackers time and time again,

In fact, it was all very boring, up until Monaco broke the deadlock, that is. The ball came to the awesome Kondogbia at around thirty yards out, and the defensive midfielder let one rip.

The ball took a nasty deflection off Mertesacker, leaving Ospina rooted as the ball slammed into the net.

“Monaco immediately went back to defending after their goal, and they were doing a great job, to be fair.”

Monaco immediately went back to defending after their goal, and they were doing a great job, to be fair. Arsenal simply didn’t have the answers.

This continued into the second half, before Monaco added to their lead in the fifty-third minute. Mertesacker lost his runner, allowing Monaco to mount a counter attack ending with a cool finish from Berbatov inside the box.

The Gunners had now conceded two away goals, and were seriously struggling to create chances.

“He dummied, then curled a ball into the corner of the goal. An excellent finish.”

It all looked very grim until the final moment.

Chamberlain, a substitute, picked up outside the box after a cross from Ozil. He dummied, then curled a ball into the corner of the goal. An excellent finish.

I’d like to tell you it all went well from there, but it didn’t.

As Arsenal went for the equaliser late on, Chamberlain, the hero, lost the ball in the middle. He chased back, but couldn’t stop Ferreira putting his shot in the bottom corner. It was heartbreak for Chamberlain, and for Arsenal.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Ospina: [6.5/10]

Couldn’t do anything for any of the goals, really. Avoided a goal in the second half by coming off his line super quick.

Gibbs: [6/10]

Poor going forward, nothing special at the back either.

Mertesacker: [5/10] 

Looks worse with every game. Shocking decision to leave his man for the second goal, and he perhaps should have done a better job of blocking Kondogbia’s shot.

Koscielny: [6/10]

Had some good moments and some not so good moments.

Bellerin: [6/10] 

Average all round. Poor crossing, though.

Coquelin: [6.5/10]

Booked in the first half and very nearly booked in the second. Made a few good tackles. Subbed.

Ozil: [5/10] 

Very poor performance, although there were literally no runs being made ahead of him. His passing was way off today, and so was his work rate.

Cazorla: [6.5/10] – MOTM

MOTM by default really. Wasn’t particular impressive, but he showed some great feet as per usual. Subbed.

Alexis: [5/10] 

Alexis is off form. Perhaps not having adequate rest hasn’t injured him, but it has tired him. Not at his best at all today.

Welbeck: [5/10] 

He works hard, but it’s usually for nothing. Poor touches, poor movement, poor performance. Poor player, I’m afraid.

Giroud: [4.5/10] 

Missed chance after chance, including a sitter in the second half. Subbed.

Subs:

Chamberlain: [6/10]

Went from hero to zero in a matter of minutes. His goal was epic, but he lost the ball to give Monaco a third away goal.

Walcott: [6.5/10]

Made some great runs, but couldn’t find the finish. Could have defended better.

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Mission Impossible

Conceding three away goals to a team that defends for their lives? It’s mission impossible, if we’re being realistic.

Kondogbia was at the heart of Monaco’s superb defensive display today, and I have no doubts about them repeating it at home for the second leg. Their defensive prowess is well-known, particularly at home.

Ozil, Alexis, Welbeck, and Giroud in particular all had stinkers today. Not enough movement, not enough ideas,

Mertesacker is the real worry though. Perhaps its time to start bleeding Gabriel into the side.

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