It was a deja vu of that tie against Bayern München. Hell, in Italian, Munich is called…Monaco. We were the much better team than our rivals last night and should have scored at least once more but it wasn’t meant to be.
Here are the key points from our win.
1.Arsenal gave a heroic performance.
You can make of it whatever you want but Arsenal really put in a great performance. We were in total control of the game, our passing was excellent, our drive and desire second to none and all that we lacked was that third bloody goal that would have put us through.
2.Olivier Giroud’s haters should shut the hell up.
The Frenchman has done it again – he scored his fifteenth goal in all competitions this season. 15 goals in 25 matches is an excellent return from the striker and it gets even more impressive when you take a look at minutes-per-goal ratio – he has scored a goal after every 107 minutes on the pitch. Hopefully Giroud will keep his shooting boots on during the run-in and surpass his tally from last season (22).
3.Aaron Ramsey has scored for the second time in a row.
The Welshman fired a low shot into the net to give us hope for a miracle on Tuesday night. After he capped a brilliant performance against West Ham with a lovely goal, Ramsey found the net against Monaco as well. It was his eighth of the season and he might reach double-digits again. The fact he had spent over an hour on the bench before coming on and scoring our second proves how many options Arsene Wenger has at his disposal for the run-in even if Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta are out.
4.Laurent Koscielny was immense again.
The French defender was brilliant again and his clearance to prevent a certain Dirar’s goal in the second half was beautiful. With Kos in this form we shouldn’t have too much trouble with our remaining opponents in the league.
5.Mesut Özil was unlucky with his finishing.
One of the reasons why our passing looked so beautiful and slick was Mesut Özil. The German came close to scoring on two occasions – the first was Subašić who tipped the ball over the crossbar after the German’s free-kick and the next was Özil’s drilled shot that looked destined for the net but unfortunately it ended just a bit wide.
Still, Mesut’ performances are getting better and better with his influence on the game being more and more visible. To those people who can see it, of course.
6.Danny Welbeck was our most dangerous player tonight.
The hosts couldn’t cope with Danny’s pace and movement. He was giving them a hard time and was unlucky not to score when the ball hit Abdennour on the ground.
7.Arsenal remain Les Invincibles
The Gunners have managed to get their seventh consecutive victory in France. It’s a great feat even if this victory was a Pyrrhic one.
8.Our form spells trouble for our opponents in England.
We play really good football and at moments we look simply unbeatable. We controlled the ball, created chances and eventually scored goals. Our midfield axis made of Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mesut Özil can protect the defence and create the space and chances for our attackers. If we continue to perform professionally like tonight against the remaining opponents in the league, we can win all nine remaining matches.
9.Alexis Sánchez looked a bit nervous.
The Chilean was wrongly booked for a dive and certainly told the referree. He shouldn’t have back chatted as that sort of dissent can get you in real trouble.
Alexis couldn’t find his golden touch tonight even if he worked his socks off again.
It becomes a bit of a nasty tradition really – it was around this time of the year in 2014 when the story about Olivier Giroud’s alleged scandal came up. It affected his performances on the pitch. Now, it was Alexis who has been subjected to boring gossip. Who cares about Alexis’ love life! He is a world-class player and one who should be respected by all the Gooners in the world for his passion and commitment, especially in the moments like this when his shots don’t land in the net. They will come – sooner or later.
10.Matches against Newcastle and Liverpool are more important than the one tonight.
Our rivals in the battle for Champions League places Manchester United and Liverpool won their respective matches against Spuds and the Swans which means the gap remains the same. Our next opponents are Newcastle who have been awful in the second half of the season and if we win the game, we’ll watch the match between Liverpool and Manchester United without stress. And, after the international break, we’ll play Liverpool at the Emirates. A huge match for both sides.
The point is, we must forget what happened last night. We should go into our next game with the same attitude and get three points. With all the talented players we have at our disposal, that shouldn’t be a problem.