Arsenal vs. Monaco
UEFA Champions League
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
12.45 PM PT/3.45 PM ET/7.45 PM BT
Stade Louis II, Fontvieille, Monaco
US TV: Fox Sports 1 | Worldwide TV info livesoccer.tv
This game may as well be called the final of the Arsenal Narrative Cup, if you read the media. Arsenal bottle it in Europe yet again! Arsenal can't win the big games! Arsenal aren't mentally strong! And so on, etc, ad nauseam.
Here's the thing. Yes, Arsenal shat the bed as badly as a drunk at 3AM after finishing the night with a chicken vindaloo and just one more beer. Yes, that's not the first time Arsenal have played badly in a Champions League game. But if you look at Arsenal's form since January 1st, it looks like this:
That, friends, is one hell of a run. It's a run that's seen Arsenal climb to within one point of second place in the Premier League; it's a run that's seen Arsenal knock Manchester United out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford; it's a run that's seen Arsenal go to the blue half of Manchester and beat Manchester City like a rented mule. I hate to break it to everyone, but Arsenal? They're a Damn Good Team.
"But why can't they win Champions League games?" you're no doubt saying, and you raise a valid point. I don't know. But what I do know is that tomorrow, Arsenal will come out all guns blazing and will take the game to a Monaco team who will be sitting back in numbers and trying to defend against the onslaught. And I know there are goals in this game to be had, if that is going to be Arsenal's approach.
Will there be enough goals for Arsenal to do what only two teams have done in the history of the current incarnation of the Champions League, and overturn a home-first-leg-loss deficit to advance to the next round? I don't know. But I think there are, and I think Arsenal can make history tomorrow.
Whether that makes me naive and shortsighted or not, I don't know - what I do know is that it makes me an Arsenal fan and for that, I am and will always be extremely happy. There's only one team in London.