Monaco – Arsenal 0- 2, the miracle didn’t happen… but only just

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal making three changes compared to the side that beat West Ham United.

Bellerin came back at right back and Chambers dropped to the bench. In midfield Santi Cazorla came in for Ramsey. And up front Welbeck came in the place of Walcott.

The team that started was : Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Welbeck, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. On the bench near the beach : Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Ramsey, Flamini, Walcott.

The first attacks came from Monaco but they didn’t really have a shot between the posts. Monaco leaning back and Arsenal playing rather carfully not opening themselves completely to a Monaco counter. It took a while before we got our first real chance but Giroud headed it wide after a cross from Bellerin.

A bit later a cross from Giroud but the volley from Cazorla was blocked by a defender. A free kick fell for Koscielny but the Frenchman hit the cross bar.  He was not correctly judged offside but he missed the chance so it didn’t matter. A bit later Welbeck with a backheel but the ball fell kindly for the Monaco keeper. Arsenal slowly putting more pressure on Monaco.

Arsenal working the ball well but the last pass was just not good enough to produce an end product. Arsenal the better team in the first half hour but nothing to show for it on the score board. Always a last foot or head or body from Monaco  in the way. And after 35 minutes a good lay off from Welbeck to Giroud who turned excellent past his man. The keeper blocked the first attempt but the ball came back to Giroud who put it in the net with his right foot. 0-1 to the Arsenal after 35 minutes.

Two minutes later a cross from Alexis from the left a header from a defender and Welbeck with a low shot that was going in but the defender who was still on the floor diverted it without knowing it in to a corner. Alexis then getting a yellow card for a dive but there was clearly contact in his back so the ref had not right to give a card for a dive. The instructions are clear only when a player goes down without any contact you can give him a yellow card. And in the last minute of the first half a good low cross but Giroud couldn’t put enough weight on it as a defender also blocked the shot and the keeper could gather it. Welbeck with a shot from a difficult angle straight at the keeper was the last attempt in the extra minute of the first half. Arsenal leading after having played a very organised match and without rushing things. Still 45 minutes to score two goals.

After a first scare when Bellerin was almost cought in possession at the start of the second half a good attack on the left, a cross from Alexis to Welbeck who laid it off to Giroud but his shot went wide.  The ref then calling back an Arsenal attack for an imaginary foul when the assistant who was meters away didn’t signal anything.  Kondogbia then getting a yellow card for a late challenge on Alexis. Ref waiting for the advantage but as there was non calling the play back to the foul.  Özil with a great free kick but the keeper palmed it over the crossbar.

A counter from Monaco but Dirar was just offside but Ospina blocked the shot anyway.  Then some up and under defending from Arsenal giving Monaco the ball back in our own penalty area but luckily our defenders managed to stop the efforts from a few Monaco players. Still only 0-1 after 60 minutes.

Ramsey preparing himself to come on in the place of Coquelin. With half an hour to go it was va banque as they say over there in the casino. A hard shot just wide from Özil was immediately followed when Ramsey made his first run forward.  Arsenal losing the ball on their half way line but luckily Koscielny and Bellerin could stop Ferreiro.

Ramsey having a shooting chance but he takes on another man and gone is the chance.  Monaco getting some more space now to look dangerous .  After 71 minutes Walcott came on in the place of Welbeck. A back pass not given as a back pass by the ref.

Arsenal now pressing and pressing but always keeping the ball on the floor. Özil with a magnificent pass to Monreal who crossed it to Walcott whose shot ended up against the post….but the ball then fell kindly in the feet of Ramsey who burried it with a low shot. 0-2 after 78 minutes. Come one more goal!

Alexis being fouled off the ball but the ref let it go. Almost Ramsey again almost with a shooting chance but too many defenders so he couldn’t put a shot in.  With 8 minutes to go Gibbs came in the place of Monreal.

Free kick to Arsenal but the header from Giroud is saved on the line by the keeper. 5 minutes of extra time. All pressure on the Monaco goal… would the miracle still happen?  A last free kick but it wasn’t to be.

The last minute rush of blood in the first leg has cost us dearly.  That was the big mistake we made over the two legs. We should have settled for the not that bad 1-2 result after the goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain. We forgot we had another 90 minutes of football in front of us.

The good thing however is that we played an excellent match at Monaco, completely bossed the whole match and won at the ground of a team that has a strong defensive reputation.

No more worry about the Champions League now. Let us just focus on finishing well in the PL and the Fa cup. Still a lot to play for.



65 Replies to “Monaco – Arsenal 0- 2, the miracle didn’t happen… but only just”

  1. We are winning the league, just let those bus parkers slip, we will win on Chelsea and get te damn league. Just I hate those stupid bus stopping teams.

  2. Excellent performance. Monaco got very lucky. Will be left to regret one moment of stupidity in the last leg, they look as if they have learned from that already.

  3. Yassin, I honestly think we are doing the double. As crazy as it sounds to some, I don’t have a doubt we can do it

  4. Yes Tjay, its not crazy, its passion. This team can take it if Chlesea miss up. Just look at their heart, how they play, Giroud heroics, he never stopped never.

    We have to keep the dreams until they are gone, some said we will never qualify, we could today, but damn luck. And we will keep it up against those bus parkers.

  5. These pundits just never stop do they?

    We know we cocked it up at home and we took a week of shite for that.

    All we could do was try for a miracle tonight and we so nearly pulled it off, but can they let it go? Can they fuck.

    Instead of praising us for a gutsy effort all we’re getting is the shite for the first leg all over again.

    Dixon. Petite. 2 more ex goons just giving us shit.

  6. Monaco were in a funny situation. They didn’t really have to score unless we scored the third, and they did all they could (and all that the ref let them) to keep us from scoring the third goal.

    It is also a blessing in disguise. One competition less means a less packed schedule, which will help in the coming months. We can win the FA Cup, and get second in the PL, and maybe have a sniff at the title;)

  7. As you say Walter, but for that last minute of stupidity at the Emiretes!

  8. Very good performance. That Monaco defence was stuffed with powerful players, remarkably difficult to break down. We may have lost but that sort of display should help encourage us to win our remaining games!

  9. A magnificent effort by the team and very unlucky with the result.

    The ref was crap, ITV and their tame tossers were and are totally wasted space.

    But, well done Arsenal, a good performance and nothing to be down about.

    I thought Bellerin pulled up just before the end of the match, lets hope it is not another injury.

  10. @Jambug, bit harsh. They gave us praise for tonight’s effort but you can’t pretend the first leg didn’t happen. It’s not as if we haven’t seen this scenario several times in recent years.

  11. bjtgooner

    ITV shameless shit stirring.

    The fans wont be happy blah blah blah.

    Did you here petite?

    It seems the mantras been tweaked. It’s moved on to:

    “A team like Arsenal shouldn’t just be aiming for top 4 AND the FA Cup.”

    I’m so pleased they get these ex goons to fight our corner.

  12. In the trophyless season, there were some players who were lazy, didnt give enough, and so on.

    This team, there is no one, no one at all who doesnt try his best all the time. This passion, this hunger, this way of trying over and over is brilliant. I love this team, and every member of it. This is enough pride to hold, more than any damn trophy, more than any damn win. We never got out of the 16 round because we never tried. But please, we need to buy next summer, buy damn Luck, the ball should go our way for once, just for once.

  13. Great effort. They pushed the boat out. The way they took control in the first half and imposed themselves. They pushed it as much as they could.

    As for those pundits, they do not bite the hand that feeds them. Disgraceful.

  14. History repeats itself and we’re now free to focus on the FA Cup and the EPL title. That isn’t so bad as we will need all our energy and belief going into the run-in. We can do it, as we have shown in the past and now over the last month….we CAN beat the big teams and also have more and more players returning….Ramsey will be a great addition and so many of our kids are coming good at the right time!!!

  15. As an Arsenal fan, is third or fourth and a Champions League last eight place enough for you? Do you not want more? Do you not want to get to that next level? Because that is the gripe about Arsene Wenger, that he hasn’t taken this team on to challenge the likes of Man City and Chelsea.

    The arsenal bashing has started folks. Above by mills.

  16. @jambug, it’s because when Petit was at Arsenal it was first and no talk of finishing fourth. In the past Wenger got mad himself when we finished second. Our targets have altered because we’ve not had unlimited finance but things are slowly changing. There’s more money and priorities are switching. Everyone knows that we’re sick of finishing fourth and not going further in the CL. Wenger will want to make a charge at the league and CL like we used to ten years ago. We are getting stronger every season.

  17. Glorious display by Arsenal, not so great man in the middle.
    Monaco di not put a single shot on target, how lucky they were not to concede the 3rd goal!!
    Unbelievable stupidity in home leg cost us dearly.
    With such great form Arsenal can win all remaining matches in BPL & FACup. Let’s see if that hapens and which place can be conquered in the league.

  18. Those media shts, why are they always trying to pit pressure on our players? You Arsenal legends, you who Wenger made you, you Petite, who Wenger made you an Arsenal player, couldnt you just shut up, or say Arsenal were brave, just to pay respect to Wenger? They could do it on Gervinhoe and destroy him, Arshavin, Santos, players who were good but destroyed by those stupids, but not those bunch today, no way.

    Jambug, but you know, he is right, Arsenal cant aim for FA and 4th, its their mind that cant get it that that is why we build the stadium, that us why we are aiming for 1st and FA.

  19. Is there a more obnoxious presenter than Mark Pougatch. Really rubbing our noses it.

  20. These pundits are a total disgrace. Agenda driven nonsense just repeated over and over again until parrots in the public take up the chants.

  21. Naman, would you look at the league table please?
    One point behind Man City for the moment.

  22. Very proud of the team. That was a brilliant performance and we nearly made history. And we are still unbeaten in France. 90% pass success rate flashed up on the screen at one point in the second half, and over 400 passes. And we attacked and attacked but without being reckless. Sometimes it was amazing to see how we got the ball out with all those big bodies in the way.

    Let the pundits chatter – we know what we saw.

  23. We can take this game as a momentum or we can use it to rub our players noses with it. Arsenal fans you choose, as you are who transmit thay to our players.

  24. Painful painful how we exit the champions league albeit with heads held high. Still hope they learn their lesson once again that the tie is not over until 180 mins of play. Could we just beat Chelsea! It would make the season much more fun!

  25. Yassin

    We’ve NEVER aimed for fourth. We just wasn’t good enough, or lucky enough (with refs and injuries) at times to win the title or CL.

    And we all know why. A Billion quid’s worth of why.

    But when push came to shove we did prioritise top 4 over either the FA Cup or the other one.

    And quite right. We had a stadium to pay for.

  26. Amazing effort from the whole team. The team gave enough to win this tie tonight, but for some puzzling decisions from the ref. Not too many major incorrect decisions, but so many friends fouls from Monaco which he seemed to give us advantage but never returned to to deal with correctly after the passage of play. As a result Monaco kept at it all match. One of them even tried a rugby tackle on monreal that went unpunished.

    As for itv and bt sprout they can only go on about the first leg coz there was nothing to criticise in tonight’s performance. Even Ozil, their favourite scapegoat, who they accuse of not working hard (because they’re too lazy to check for themselves) ran himself into the ground, and I don’t think I’ve seen him sweat that much like that before. This was one of our best performances by a mile. Proud of the boys.

  27. I know Jambug, I know, I still cant forget 2008. We never did aim to 4th, but to challenge Chelsea anx City and Unitex, we needed a great stadium, and we did our best to get it. We dont and never did aim for fourth, its just they dont get it, they cant get it, they played football and still cant get it.

    By the way can we say that our players do those missed up games ( Monaco first leg) due to lack of confidence produced by the stupid media? And when they get into the heat, we play our game and boom. We need to stick by them, we must, Chelsea is in a mental weakness now, we can take advantage.

  28. Scholes;

    “Yeah Arsenal won tonight but lets be honest Monaco are a poor side”

    2 minutes later

    “yeah Arsenal lost it at home by thinking it would be easy and not giving Monaco the respect they deserve because there are no easy games in Europe”

    What a hypocritical little shit.

  29. Now I know why he always missed a tackle when he played, and always kick the player instead. He got no damn brain this Scholes.

  30. ..and what a good record is on the way:
    17 wins in 22 matches in all competitions

  31. ‘It’s so hard to be kicked out of the Champions League after such a result and such a game.’

    That’s what Ozil has tweeted. It’s on

    I think it says everything about how our players must be feeling. A mixture of pride and disappointment.

    But as Per and Ramsey said in their interviews, this will stand them in good stead in the battles in the league and the cup.

  32. Forget the pundits they are just upset their beloved Chelsea and Jose went out, completely discrediting themselves as they did so. At least we went out fighting and with some pride, not by just attempting to cheat and park the bus. Scholes is just sore we ensured Utd will finish trophy less.
    Yes we are knocked out, but we are still in the winning habit that will stand us in good stead for the remainder of the season.
    Really hope we continue to play with coq or a coq like player, in general, first leg excepted, we look so much stronger with that type of player

  33. Well, this is new. We lost in an agonising way and…I do not feel awful.

    Only reason I can think of for that is because this is the first time I’ve been convinced we really are heading back to the heights.

    The press will work their nuts off in the coming days to tell us it is simply more of the same, and that it will continue, but it isn’t true.

    Yes, it’s frustrating that the only think the masses and mass media recognise as footballing excellence, or even proof of progress, is trophies, but at least in this little enclave we see it differently.

    The team is improving and looks set to continue to improve; we’re going places. All that looks likely to derail is us absurdly good signings for the billionaire boys (a possibility) or people jumping ship (now so much less likely than before)

    Eat the pain, try not to think of the damn wait to be proved right; enjoy the hope which is amply justified. Avoiding the qualifying round, and the harm it probably does us for the early weeks of the league, will be a nice start; then see if we can top our bloody group. This team will have a much better chance than others of doing so. Then onwards.

    Now to avoid the internet, apart from this site, until Saturday.

  34. Wait wait wait, I just remembered, that ball that Giroud hit and the keeper saved, did it go in? i thought it was in, and waited for the goal line technology, but nothing. Do they use thr goal line technology? Not again.

  35. Yassin

    I will never lose my love or the faith.

    I know it’s never for the want of trying.

    I know we are not perfect. I know we cocked up in the first leg, but the thing I find solace in, as scant as it may be, is that at least when we do cock it up it’s at least through the desire to attack, to entertain.

    Last week the Ox came on and gave it everything. He scored one goal, but he was so desperate to score another that in his haste he gave the ball away. Shit happens.

    But I just love the guys desire, and I see that throughout this group.

  36. I don’t know what’s expected from the pundits. These are mostly people who can analyse football related matter with a reasonable degree of articulacy using words of more than one syllable and who have no obligation to former clubs and their supporters. I’m always pleased to see Keown & Wright supporting us but we don’t own them anymore: they have a different career now with a requirement for more balanced opinions which do not necessarily have to regularly be pro Arsenal or they would soon be out of work. Regarding tonights pundits; Petit made over 200 appearances for Monaco and only around 80 for us, so whose side was he supposed to take?
    Having said that I also have to say that I’m appalled by the regular GBH of the ears idiocy of match co-commentators. We don’t really need them. To paraphrase Phil Spector: back to single commentator.

  37. Agree Rich, something has changed with this side. They look solid, have energy, and flair. Mistakes will always be made with all teams, but cannot see this team going back to those horrible demoralising capitulations. This team are moving on, they are physically and mentally strong, tactically varied. They really are now on the up.i used to love watching previous incarnations of this team, but they did have weaknesses, those weaknesses are being ironed out.

  38. My wish for tonight was for Arsenal to go through. Being aware of our circumstances, I was expecting us to go out with a bang and not a whimper if we won’t make it. I am glad the players gave it their all with a 2-0 victory that no one apart from us die hard believers thought was possible.

    Well done to the team and onward, forward to Newcastle. Tonight’s victory is our 5th in a row in all competitions. Let’s make it 6 on Saturday.

    Come on Arsenal!

  39. Credit for an excellent display, in which every player did a good job. With a little bit more luck, we could have got the third goal. At least we went out with dignity and pride, not like a bus-parking, cheating team, trying to secure a goal-less draw at home against ten men.

  40. Anyway, back to the match. It was good showing by us and with a bit more luck & better refereeing we could have got the result.

  41. Very proud of the team. Monaco created very little and we had chances at a third.

    As for the pundits I am sure that the team don’t give a Damn. This game was for themselves and their loyal supporters. We can regret what happened in the first leg but that does not diminish what they accomplished in Monaco.

  42. @john

    You’ve reminded me of the pleasure of seeing Chelsea knocked out with five minutes to go. They so deserved it!

  43. Mandy Dodd, always a nice thing to hear that sort of stuff from you (Gives me that bit more confidence that things are as I believe them to be)

    Should I have more faith, though, or do you also think the overall result puts us back (if we ever left) in the position of having a contingent in the stadium ready to voice discontent at the first real opportunity?

    It feels so blindingly obvious to me that what the team needs and deserves next time out is resounding support, but a glance around the old internet suggests there are plenty who feel otherwise.

    Finally, it’s just sad and so bloody annoying that, because of the way the last decade has gone, and because of the media and all its bullshit, the football world seems incapable of recognising, or admitting, that some fantastic, beautiful football was played tonight. Enjoying, too- if you can’t enjoy that football, I’d suggest you don’t really enjoy football at all. You enjoy results, and some foolish notion that it reflects well upon you, no matter what sort of a tool you are, when your team wins, by whatever means.

    I guess you just have to steel yourself over and over and accept that’s the world, and that for so many none of it counts for anything unless you have something as unequivocal and tangible as a shiny medal to show for your efforts. Oh well, there was some breathtaking stuff in there. Nothing more so than to watch manifestations of you-know-who’s will and unbreakable determination to keep searching for that sort of football when nearly everything in the game now is geared towards pragmatism.

  44. The key is that all concerned learn from this exit, I am sure they have/will.
    These glorious failures are painful, but like last season, the team and fans can console themselves by battles that lay ahead. They can still do some special things this season and provide a huge platform for a real go at things next season when we won’t have the post World Cup, we hopefully will not have a tough CL qualifier, we will have great players more familiar with each other’s patterns of play, we will have upgraded medical and fitness facilities and new experts in these fields in place, and we may have a new signing and other breakthrough players.
    But that’s in the future, there are things to do this season.

  45. Yassin 10:53pm
    Yeah, I wondered the same thing too. The keeper made a scooping motion with the ball almost hitting him in the face, and he was leaning backwards…. I expected a sideways replay but nothing. Anyway, don’t want to dwell on those moments too long, not going to help, let’s just focus on a magnificent performance by the boys tonight.

  46. Rich, yes, have seen the wider internet, but think this team are starting to win a few doubters. The media are starting to look stupid constantly trashing this team. We are on a very good run, and long may it continue, anyone trashing this team at the moment is either a spud/Utd/Chelsea sleeper or they are not watching the games. Or they have problems with their love life they have to take out on someone abstract. Or they are a sad teenager in a room unable to make friends or deal with people.
    The fact is, this team are getting stronger and stronger. Yes there will be set backs, the said trolls will appear, but they will not halt this progress. Last summer, it is reported wenger decided to make some changes in the way we play. It took a whole, there was confusion, but we are now starting to see the rewards, and there is more to come.

  47. You know, after Arsenal had won 2:0 in Munich two years ago, we had ten league matches to go and Spuds seven points above us.

    Now we won 2:0 in Monaco, have nine league matches to go and Chavs seven points above us.

    And Munich is called Monaco in Italian.

    Just sayin…

  48. Mandy Dodd,

    Nicely put.

    That’ll do me for the day (lovely six hours before the alarm clock).

    I’m just glad the dream is fully on again of winning things in the best possible way. Not as sneaks, not as cheats, but through ambitious, honest, creative, determined real football, which showcases genuine love of the game’s best features. No idea how I’d adapt to any other approach at this point. Thankfully, that won’t be an issue for a while yet

  49. It’s fair to say that after the first game they had left themselves a mountain to climb. By that same token, they tried to climb that mountain magnificently, refusing to panic, imposing themselves, setting their will onto the game, making their own individual skill the necesary vehicle for the collective team effort. A great performance.

    The quality of their performance has to be set against the contortions of the media and pundits. The EPL is not the best league in the world. If the Oil Foundations Service Team go out tomorrow at Barcelona then no EPL team will be present in the final 8. Look at that and reality makes no sense as it is described to us.

    The EPL cannot be the best league in the world. Monaco cannot be a ”weak team” and, crucially, the most important point – no pundit has the nous, because they do not explain the game, to tell the public that the game in Europe is dramatically different from the game in the EPL.

    It was a great performance tonight, a real stirring lifting of themselves to come to terms with what they had to do and how to do it. They stepped up to the plate.

  50. So ‘we don’t have goal line technology but we do have the extra officials’ is supposed to convince us of accuracy. The officials that do sweet FA most of the time. The official that chose not to see the penalties but was paid to do a job. The referee ignored so many fouls with advantage & no cards that it makes his presence useless.

    Arsenal were magnificent despite the cheating. The elation of the referee at the end of the game is questionable.

    Onwards now to the EPL & FA cup. How tough will PGMO make it for us to succeed.

  51. @Yassin,

    It was too close wasnt it. I thought the dummy will call it a goal. Goal line technology would’ve helped clear the doubts.

    But what was the dummy doing when Alexis was carded for a dive. What was he doing when Mertesacker was brought down in the box. What was he doing when the back pass was handled by their keeper!!!

    NOTE: Dummy = the extra referee with a stick standing on the touch line on each side of the pitch. Whats that stick for??

  52. Curious case of Gareth Bale…

    Is he up for grabs this summer. I think he is….

  53. The question we need to ask that, in yesterdays match we were excellent, we organized etc. What happened in the 1st leg? And mind u, this is not the 1st time this has happened. It seems we do not learn the lesson. We cannot go on blaming every single thing. We need to take a good hard look at our own preparation. If only. Now that we are out of it, the need to put all our energy into the FA cup and the EPL. There’s a good chance hellsea and shitty will slip and we need to take full advantage. We have a very very good chance of finishing in the 2nd place at least. Lets go for it.

  54. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done , guys , you’ve made us proud . It was always going to be though , but by winning away to a defence minded team ,and not conceding a goal , you guys have given us hope for the future.
    More of the same please ,till the end of the season .
    Up the Gunners !

  55. Love the positive feelings that the team is daily improving and ironing out their mistakes.

    Yea we botched it over 2 legs(again), but that is probably better for us (again)this season. I am waiting for Chel$ to slip, and i know we will overtake Manc$.

    One thing that i noticed though, Monaco had done even more homework on us, and applied it really good, but the quality of our play was a match for it, which shows that we can overcome anything in a single match if we are firing.

    I had mentioned some time ago that teams tend to know exactly how we play and set up their players to upset us, but when the team is fit and firing, all that does not matter in any way, it is only when we are a little below par that it messes us up.

    OK, people remember this.

    2015/2016 is going to be Arsenal’s CL year, where we finally get it.

  56. Where is next season’s Champion’s League Final?
    After last night’s performance and the whole attitude of Arsenal Football Club on and off the field my confidence and belief in Arsenal has soared. I cannot add anything pertinent that hasn’t been written by Mandy Dodd and jambug in particular, and I don’t care about the media, but I would like to block out that weekend in 2016 to finally see Arsenal become Champions of Europe and say “I was there!”

  57. ARSENAL 13
    March 18, 2015 at 5:07 am

    The dummy is in fact a ‘more on’ & the stick is a dildo. It is used to keep the ‘more on’ awake.

    The wisdom of UEFA was that 4 officials were insufficient to judge if the ball went over the goal line, so they brought ‘more on’. Occasionally they do call a foul but generally they are just dildo bearers.

  58. Another away win in Europe under our belt! Well done boys. I thought Monaco have not conceded 2 goals at home since…

    We have been gathering all necessary ingredients (Physical and mental)of European champion for about 5 seasons now. People only concentrate on players, but not on their mental and attitudinal strength. We are closer to the finished product now.

    I also thought the ball got behind the line from Giroud’s header but not sure how well over the line it was.

    Josif 11:48 pm, I’m kind of liking that.

    Keep on winning matches Gunners.

  59. Al, I thought it was over the line, but as you said, I will leave it here. Well done, our boys did it perfectly well, just had we been a bit lucky.

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