Rust Exposed: Arsenal 0 - 1 Monaco – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 0 - 1 Monaco


The final fixture of The Emirates Cup was to be Arsenal vs Monaco, a slightly more imposing opponent than yesterday’s Benfica side - who Arsenal brushed aside.

Unfortunately, The Gunners didn’t start today’s game off too well.

Apart from some exciting moments coming from Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal were looking lack-lustre. Giroud was making poorly timed runs, Cazorla wasn’t getting involved, and Monreal wasn’t getting forward at all.

Half-chances came and went, but Monaco weren’t really fazed.

Eventually, it was the French side that broke the deadlock. A freekick was swung in, and Falcao made his run un-marked. He seemed to be Monreal’s man.

Monaco’s big Colombian got his head on the end of the freekick from close range, smashing it past Szczesney.

The Half-time whistle soon blew, and Arsenal were probably quite glad to hear it.

We certainly looked more dangerous with Sanchez leading the line…

Arsenal started the second half on top, but were still having trouble making things happen in front of goal.

Giroud and Chambers had been replaced by Chamberlain and Miquel, allowing Alexis to play upfront. We certainly looked more dangerous with Sanchez leading the line, but bar a couple of half-decent efforts, Monaco were keeping Arsenal out quite easily.

Monaco simply looked fitter, faster and more comfortable on the ball. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s passing was poor by their usual high standards.

Zelalem, Akpom and Flamini were soon thrown on to give Arsenal a final push, but still, Monaco held firm.

“Zelalem’s clever through-ball put Akpom through, only to be brought down in the box by Monaco’s goalkeeper…

However, a ball in the eightieth minute from Zelalem to Akpom opened things up.

Zelalem’s clever through-ball put Akpom through, only to be brought down in the box by Monaco’s goalkeeper. The referee though, only saw it was a freekick on the edge of the box. A clear error.

The freekick came to nothing, and Arsenal returned to their mediocre ways, with Zelalem being the only live spark.

Soon, the game - and tournament - came to a close. It wasn’t to be for Arsenal, thanks to an extremely poor call from the referee lae on. But in all honesty, The Gunners probably got what they deserved.


Arsenal Player Ratings (First Half)

Szczesney: [6.5/10]

Dealt with crosses well, couldn’t do much for the goal.

Debuchy: [7.5/10]

A good debut in my book. He defended well, looked quick over short spaces, and got forward constantly. Put in more good crosses in one game than Sagna could muster in a season.

Chambers: [7.5/10] 

Just like against Benfica, Chambers looked rock solid at the back. He won aerial battles, cleaned up behind the midfield and looked assured on the ball.

Koscielny: [7/10] 

A typically sound Koscielny performance. However, you could argue that Falcao’s header could have been defended better by Laurent.

Monreal: [6/10]

He was certainly in the best position to deal with Falcao for the goal but he didn’t. Un-aggressive in the tackle, got forward only occasionally.

Arteta: [6/10]

Slowed things down at the wrong times.His passing and closing down was fine, but I certainly wouldn’ want to see him start week-in week-out.

Wilshere [6.5/10] 

Tried to be positive, but he didn’t really create much at all. A passenger at times.

Cazorla [6.5/10]

Like Wilshere, Santi didn’t really impose himself on the game. He lost possession a few times, and rarely tracked back.

Ramsey: [7/10] 

Surprised he managed to play two games in two days. Still, he looked full of energy. He tried to battle against Monaco’s strong midfield outfit, and made some good runs forward. Nothing much came from either endeavour.

Alexis: [7.5/10]

Definitely our most dangerous player today. His first touch was sublime, and he was constantly looking to get Arsenal forward. If anything, Giroud, Cazorla and Wilshere kept letting him down.

Giroud: [5/10]

An awful performance. Offside more often than not, poor touches, and even worse passing. Very, very rusty.



Zelalem: [7.5/10]

Looks so calm and mature on the ball despite his age. Made two excellent through-balls, one of which should have resulted in a penalty for Akpom.

Akpom: [6.5/10] 

Had limited time, but made a great run to be found by Zelalem. Won a penalty, but was given as a freekick.

Flamini, Miquel, Bellerin [N/A]


Rust Exposed

The gloss of yesterday’s win over Benfica was scrubbed off by Monaco today, exposing some worrying rustiness.

Giroud looks like a player who hasn’t played in weeks (because he hasn’t), Cazorla looks unfit, Wilshere still isn’t firing on all cylinders and as a team, we just don’t look as fit as we usually do.

Sure, the penalty would have probably seen us lift the cup, but ur performance today was very poor.

Maybe Wenger was right. Perhaps there really isn’t enough time between the World Cup and the start of the season. I shudder to think how rusty Mertesacker, Podolski and Ozil will be once they return.

In any case, let’s hope we shape up in time for the Community Shield next week, because Man City will take no prisoners.


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