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Monaco 0-2 Arsenal: Glorious Failure, again

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Arsenal came close, again, but fell short, again.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

0-1 Giroud 36'
0-2 Ramsey 79'

Arsenal have crashed out of the Champions League in the Round of Sixteen for the fifth straight season. Ultimately, the recovery job that was necessary after the first leg debacle proved to be too much, with Arsenal winning 2-0 on the night, but falling foul of the away goal rule, again.

Arsenal started the first half very slowly, with Monaco looking more urgent, and more dangerous. But after that, the Gunners came into the game, and started being first to every ball. Olivier Giroud headed a difficult chance wide, but on 36' minutes, he ran onto a Danny Welbeck through ball. His first shot was saved by the keeper, but the rebound fell to Giroud, who smashed it into the top of the net with his right foot. The comeback was very much on, and Arsenal finished the half strongly, with a last ditch block from Abdennour stopping a goal-bound Welbeck shot.

Arsenal started the second half strongly too, but Monaco came into the match around the hour mark, with some dangerous runs and positions. Aaron Ramsey was introduced to provide more energy and urgency, and he gave Arsenal a life line with his goal in the 79th minute, after Theo Walcott hit the post. Shortly after, Oliveir Giroud's header was incredibly clawed off the line.

There were still 10 minutes to go, and then 5 minutes of added time, but Arsenal seemingly hit the panic button and started lumping the ball into the Monaco penalty box, a route to goal which had been well defended all game, and didn't make much sense when Arsenal had the run of the wide areas. They couldn't garner a chance or shot of note, and Monaco duly ran time out with free kicks.

So Arsenal fall short again, with a scoreline that I'm fairly sure everyone predicted. Ultimately, there are regrets about the third goal that was completely unnecessarily conceded, for which Mssrs Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ospina share a large portion of the blame, and that Arsenal played so poorly in the first leg against a side who are, with all due respect, not one of Europe's finest. Yet Arsenal could've used what was ultimately 15 minutes of time remaining after Ramsey's goal more constructively, and that they didn't is disappointing. Alexis Sánchez had a very poor game, and a very poor tie in general, and it makes sense to consider resting him more often.