Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

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Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Jay29 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:14 pm

As glorious failures go, that was one of the most soul destroying of recent times. There's nothing more draining than hoping your team can pull off something special, get agonisingly close to doing it but falling just short in the end.

It's a familiar feeling for us, so much so that many of us correctly predicted the score would be 2-0 on the night; just as it was in Munich two years ago. Only this time it's not a team of the calibre of a Guardiola lead, Champions League winning Bayern Munich, it's a plucky Monaco team. That's what makes this difficult to swallow.

Inevitably, the damage was done in the first leg. A 2-1 defeat would have been a terrible result but would have been much easier to come back from. Chamberlain's late goal gave us a lifeline in the tie. But then, we lost our composure, threw too many men forward, and conceded a fatal third goal on the night that has, ultimately, proven to be the difference between the two sides. We're left thinking, if only that goal hadn't been scored...

If only. I'm fed up saying that after these games. If only Ozil had scored that penalty. If only van Persie had scored that second half chance. If only Szczesny didn't get sent off. If only we stopped *bleep* up the first leg we might make some actual progress in this competition.

I'm struggling not to be downbeat after a very good performance from the team but it's proving to be very difficult. Part of that is my own fault because I seriously believed we could do it, even before kick-off. When we scored the second with a good ten minutes plus whatever injury time was going to be remaining, I thought it was actually going to happen. I don't regret having that belief but after such a let-down there's an understandable disappointment.

And on a more basic level, beyond all the tactics and whatnot, the fact we've been knocked out by Monaco is just a bitter blow to the season. After the first leg, I praised them for their defensive/counter-attacking display, but upon reflection, they really aren't all that they've been made out to be. For a supposedly strong defensive team, they sure gave us plenty of opportunities over the two legs. We all remember Giroud's various chances to score in the first leg, and tonight the only time they seemed good defensively was when we started lumping it long into the box.

To put this another way, this wasn't a tie where we could just shrug our shoulders and say "oh well, the other team were just too good for us", like it was against Barcelona or Bayern. It's a massively missed opportunity against a decent-but-not-great team.

As for the match, I feel Arsenal did almost everything right. In the first half they saw out a nervy opening spell and when they got control of the game they made penetrative passes in midfield and had good width. When they lost the ball, they did well to win it back higher up the pitch or force Monaco into long passes. This was a stark contrast to the first leg where there was no pressing, no width and Monaco dictated things as they wanted to. Goes to show that personnel changes aren't always the answer to a tactical problem.

Giroud scores in the first half to give us a foothold in the game and from here I thought we managed things quite well. It was too soon to start getting excited and throwing men forward. We waited until the 60-70 minute mark to remove Coquelin and throw on another attacking midfielder in Ramsey. I thought that was too risky but it paid dividends since Ramsey's drive made such a difference. He scores and suddenly we're believing again.

At this point, it became a bit desperate. Monaco were finding more room on the counter as our full-backs spent more time up the pitch, but their transitions tonight were poor and Koscielny was immense in mopping up at the back. The last ten minutes they had their backs against the wall. Unfortunately, we were unable to work one clear opening. The width was there, but the ball into box wasn't always the best, and Monaco made their aerial superiority count.

There were some excellent individual displays, mainly from Koscielny and Ozil. Ozil got the stock criticism in tonight's game but he was the centre of everything we did and had a real influence on the game, especially in the second half. Alexis, meanwhile, had a poor night, often dribbling into dead ends and giving the ball away. Alexis' form has been indifferent for a little while now, while Ozil's has been very good. But we all knock which player will get criticised in the morning papers.

Anyway, I don't want to turn this into an Ozil vs Alexis thing. Alexis' lack of form is likely down to a bit of fatigue and a routine dry spell that all forwards tend to go through eventually.

Big game at Newcastle on Saturday, so it's important for morale not go down too much. We're on a good run of form, we're playing well, the tactics have been a lot better recently and there's plenty to play for this season still. With any luck, we'll get over this disappointment quickly and continue our good form.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by El Gunner on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:47 pm

@El Gunner wrote:Actually have a headache now after all that screaming and cussing Laughing

You just knew once that 3rd goal went it at the Ems it was going to be the telling goal in the tie. Such a stupid goal to concede but what can you do now, it is what it is.

One thing though. After we scored the second tonight it looked as though we didn't know what to do or how exactly to attack to get the goal. We tried swinging it into the box a lot but that doesnt help a lot if you only have Giroud in the box and Walcott/Sanchez on the far post at either end. At least get Merts forward for the whole last ten minutes and just flood their box with cross after cross, but nah. And if you don't wanna do that just pass the ball on the floor and drive at them with numbers. Get to the byline, cut it back. Just do something with urgency and pace. But okay, I'mma stop now, Awful first leg is awful first leg and that's how the story ends.

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by FRANTIC on Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:12 am

I thought we'd score 4 goals.... Oh well.

Always next year.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Chumlum on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:02 am

To be perfectly honest, this defeat on away goals didn't hurt as much as others have ... which is not to say that Jay's point about Monaco being more beatable than Bayern/Barca isn't completely valid--it is--but I guess I had resigned myself beforehand to a pessimistic viewpoint.

And even during the match today, when I sincerely believed that we had a real shot once we scored that first goal, I think I was cushioned by that pessimism.

The familiarity of this R16 problem is obviously a real concern. But in the context of this particular tie, on a subconscious level, it seemed inevitable. For whatever reasons, I think I'll be more frustrated this season if we finish lower than 3rd in the league or self-destruct in the FA Cup.

Credit to Monaco, btw. They aren't the superstar side that they wanted to be a couple seasons ago, but damn, they are well-organized, they defend with real tenacity, and when you see they have, in addition to that defensive base, Moutinho + pacey wide forwards + the shrewdness of Berbatov ... they're not Bayern but they're not exactly a team of scrubs, either. All in all our guys should have done better, but it's not like anyone should expect us to have demolished them, like, 8:1 aggregate, either.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by sportsczy on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:14 am

Monaco were missing their best CB for the season, Raggi, and Kurzawa is just coming back from a 2 month injury.  Abdennour never plays and for good reason.  With the rest of back 4 being all 23 or younger, you need a smart veteran to organize which he is not and Raggi is.  Add to that, their kids played not to lose tonight which made them make a ton of strange mistakes.

They usually play with no complex and to get a result.  This game, they were looking to not concede 3 which is the beat way to concede 3.

In any case, Monaco is through and Ligue 1 scalped EPL which is all that matters.  I doubt Monaco gets another huge first leg lead and then have kids over thinking and getting nervous in the second game in the quarters...  Although Milan, bayern and barca all did the same too.

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Raptorgunner on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:21 am

We never learn, same shit every year. drinking

Its never easy, always give ourselves too much to do.

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Chumlum on Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:55 am

Also ... Özil. I think I he had a pretty good game, not tremendous, but good. But the point I want to make is that when he gets attacked for his laziness, it's usually more because he looks lazy than that he's actually lazy. In the final minute or two in the match, watch how he tracked a Monaco player (was it Yannick Ferreira Carrasco?) in the dying moments of the game ... that's dedication. Özil isn't an energizer bunny of a player, but neither is he a disinterested waif. Dude works hard.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Sri on Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:32 am

Top post Jay.. Seriously good post..
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Sri on Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:47 am

Something to take heart from:

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by FRANTIC on Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:39 am

8 big chances missed.

I only counted 2 in my opinion. Welbeck and Giroud header
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Hapless_Hans on Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:49 am

I think these stats are both respective legs combined - else you wouldn't have '1,5 goals scored' Thumbs up .

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Sri on Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:52 am

Yup it is an average - was explained on the blog. I only put the main figure here for brevity.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Sina on Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:14 pm

all was done in 1st leg then
have to say was a bit angry when line ups where announced with no changes from 1st game
but we got our plan worked
with pressing and width forcing them back gaining control and only taking Risk in last 25 or so mins as well explained by Jay
Chambo is our big occasion player
if only him and Rambo were fit enough to start both games or we had an experienced RB etc

Mesut had a very good 2nd half,stepped it up
i was thinking of back then when we had to bring in park and Chamakh vs Milan Laughing
last night we had Ramsey and Walcott Cool

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Raptorgunner on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:27 pm

When asked whether he was unhappy at Arsenal's repeated exits at the second-round stage,
Wenger said: 'Yes, but sometimes we have been beaten by opponents who were in the final.

'Perhaps it would be better not to go out like this and make the Europa League, we would be more likely to win.'


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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Sri on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:53 pm

That AW-signature-sarcasm Proud
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by VendettaRed07 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:18 am

The decline of Sanchez is killing us. He was an absolute world beater first half of the year. He was everything this team was missing in attack. But he's been useless for quite some time now. With him playing like he is we go back to relying way too much on giroud and find it too difficult to break teams down and convert chances

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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Twoism on Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:44 am

1st season in England, not to mention 1st time ever had to play through Xmas, we all knew just by the way he threw himself into the game 1st half of the season.

Wengers needs to sit Sanchez down, has proper talk at the end of the season. I think if he spread his energy out evenly, we won't have to watch this Sanchez. Even Messi has to walk from time to time.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by Peccadillo on Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:32 pm

this one really bummed me. Lost in the first leg, what more can be said.

As for Sanchez.. although its a little bit of Sky rhetoric, most players attest to the increased physicality of the premier league.

He is set to play the most football he ever has in a season, currently sitting at 2,764 minutes with a number of games remaining. His previous busiest season was 2,873 for Barca last season - again in what I would argue is a less physically demanding league, and after a world cup summer.

It's his first season and I suspect his body will condition itself to the league - and as Twoism said possibly a wiser distribution of his energy would help.

We should have him on the bench this weekend.
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Re: Monaco 0 - 2 Arsenal

Post by RealGunner on Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:04 am

Fantastic Post Jay. Everything that needed to be said has been said

Been 2 days. I still don't know what to say myself. I don't feel proud of our performance. That was expected. That's the sort of performance our team should be putting out anyways. I guess I am frustrated more that we handed the whole tie to them in the first leg. There is no other feeling really.

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