Monaco 0-2 Arsenal

A 2-0 victory for Arsenal was not enough to see them progress to the next round of the Champions League as they went out on away goals with the aggregate score at 3-3.

Arsenal controlled most of the first half, with Monaco having very little time in possession and attacking. Despite the possession and control of the game that Arsenal had, they created few clear-cut chances and scored only once, with the goal featuring an element of luck; Giroud ran onto a good through-ball, but his initial shot hit the advancing keeper. A kind rebound saw the ball fall to him and he made no mistake, firing the ball into the roof of the net and beating defenders by the line. Arsenal were unlucky not to extend their lead further minutes later, when a sweetly struck shot from Welbeck on the edge of the area hit a prone defender who knew little about it; the ball could have gone anywhere, but ended up going out for a corner.

The second half saw the game continue in a similar manner, although Monaco had some better spells of possession and more attacking opportunities, especially as Arsenal pushed forwards in search of goals. Despite Arsenal’s control they could only score once more. A shot from Walcott hit the post and a Monaco defender rushed a clearance that fell to Ramsey, who steadied himself and fired into the corner of the net. Arsenal came close to adding a third minutes later with two players getting in each other’s way at the back post from a free kick, which was clawed off the line by the Monaco keeper.

Arsenal controlled most of the game, but fashioned few genuine chances. This has been a criticism of Arsenal in the past and until they can turn their possession into good opportunities (and be ruthless in taking them), I think that they will continue to struggle in big matches against strong opponents.

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