Last night’s gallant efforts away to Monaco ended up a huge disappointment in as much as the result, but the effort put in by The Arsenal players was immense. The team plugged away all night to try and get the goals needed, even to the last seconds, tired legs were still pushing just to find that one goal that would have put us through.
Arsene Wenger surprised many of us at the start by leaving out Aaron Ramsey. I suppose that was because Aaron has not shown, since he returned from injury, the form that he showed last season but whatever the reasons I felt we missed him. Although the eleven he did pick worked their socks off. This was not an easy game, with a resolute Monaco seemingly happy to defend most of the game, without really troubling the somewhat under worked Ospina .
My friend had flown out to Monaco to join the thousands of travelling supporters. He posted, on Facebook, photos of himself in a floppy Irish Top Hat drinking a pint of the black stuff in a local bar close to the ground. He knew this was a tough task but went all the same and I imagine he sang his heart out along with other hero supporters and although heart broken he must have been proud of his club at the end.
Arsenal did all they could to turn this game around, a massive ask after the first leg but try they did right up to the last kick of the game. Olly battled and was rewarded just before the break with what can only be described as a battlers goal. The moment that goal went in it lifted all Arsenal support and we had a proper game on our hands.
We went in at half time with belief that we could still fight back and out they came for the second half with only one thing on their minds to dig in and fight. Bellerin excelled himself again as he ran and battled up and down that pitch until those tired legs would not let him run any more. Monreal also, on the other side of the park also ran his legs off and to a man, Arsenal players did their utmost to claw back the goals we needed. We had chances, but on the night Monaco stuck to their tactics and defended well.
Arsene decided he had left it as long as he could and started changing players. Le Coq had thrown himself around all game was to be replaced by Ramsey. Monreal who looked worn out was taken off for Gibbs and Welbeck replaced by Theo. Wenger was not giving up, Ramsey added a little spice he had been missed even with the trio who came off you couldn’t have asked for more from but Aaron you could feel was to add a little extra.
Another Arsenal attack saw a chance for Theo he stroked the ball towards the right hand post only to bounce off the post a Monaco defender in vain tried to clear but rolled it to the ever waiting Ramsey who controlled the ball and fired it across the Monaco keeper and into the net. The crowd went ballistic and I went ballistic and you all went ballistic 2-0 we were not finished yet.
I have to say I felt that our attack was too much through the middle. Monaco were almost impenetrable, Theo was a let down for me, here we have a player as fast as lightning and he sat on Girouds shoulder we were crying out for a wide man someone to stretch the Monaco defence but Theo stayed central while Gibbs was doing his best down the left our right side was a vacant space.
Could we had scored that third goal and make the come back of the century? Yes I believe we could but it wasn’t to be on the night. Disappointment for thousands of Gooners but they certainly tried, and we can ask for no more. Pride restored and out for another season but not broken. FA cup and League still on and this team will keep on showing heart. Supporters like us will be bitterly disappointed but proud of the side that gave their all.