Arsenal were beaten comprehensively by Monaco in 1st leg of the last 16 tie in the UEFA Champions League and have a mountain to climb in the second leg as they need to score at least thrice if they want to qualify.
Going into the game, the Londoners were favourites to take a lead into the second leg and they started well after Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud had chances to score in he opening 10 minutes. After the opening 10 minutes, Arsenal’s build up play was really slow and they showed no urgency in front of goal. Monaco on the other hand, came with a perfect game plan to hit Arsenal on the break and it worked brilliantly.
In the 38th minute, Geoffrey Kondogbiaa s long-range effort deflected of Per Mertesacker and sailed past a helpless David Ospina to give Monaco the lead. The Ligue 1 outfit showed their counter-attacking prowess in the second half and scored in the 53rd-minute thanks to Dimitar Berbatov’s excellent finish after a breakaway. Arsenal pulled a goal back in the 90th minute through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s brilliant striker, but were once again undone by Monaco’s pace on the counter when Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco scored for them in injury time to give them three away goals to take home.
Manager Arsene Wenger revealed that he was disappointed with the result and Arsenal’s defending, “It is just not right to give goals away the way we did. We missed chances and were suicidal defensively.”
“On the second and third goals, it was suicide. It looks like we have lost our nerve and our rationality. The heart took over the head and at this level that doesn’t work.
“Mentally we were not sharp enough to get into this game,” added Wenger. “We rushed our game. We knew coming back in at half-time it was important not to concede the second goal but we were too impatient. It was more heart than brain.
Wenger said that the task is very difficult now as they’ll have to go to France and score thrice and keep a clean sheet if they are to qualify, “The task is massive now. The third goal makes it even more difficult. We will have a go of course. We have a smaller chance but no matter how big the chance is we will go for it. We need to recover from this disappointment and prepare for the next game.
He also added that Giroud’s substitution was because of his lack of killer instinct in front of goal, “He missed some easy chances and it looked like it was not one of his best days.”