AS Monaco Destroys Arsenal At Home

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AS Monaco hold the advantage ahead of the second leg after they recorded a surprise 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates in their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Goals from Geoffrey Kondogbia, Dimitar Berbatov and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco have put the Ligue 1 side in a commanding position ahead of the second leg in France, despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s curled effort.

In a fairly timid opening half, Danny Welbeck had an early chance for the Gunners when he was sent scampering through on goal, but the England international was off balance as he scooped an effort over the bar.

Joao Moutinho mustered Monaco’s first shot of the game on the 20 minute mark, but the Portugal international’s tame effort drifted harmlessly wide as both sides struggled to create anything clear-cut.

A promising attack for the Ligue 1 side broke down when Moutinho’s slack pass was unable to find Dimitar Berbatov inside the area before Alexis Sanchez clipped a shot over the top after good work from Mesut Ozil.
Moutinho was then able to find some room inside the area but his acrobatic effort flew well over the bar after he connected with a fizzed delivery.

Some neat link-up play between Sanchez and Santi Cazorla found Hector Bellerin wide right but the youngster’s low cross was whipped over the bar by Olivier Giroud.

Kondogbia then gave the visitors the lead when his long-range effort deflected off Per Mertesacker to leave David Ospina rooted.

The French side doubled their advantage less than 10 minutes into the second half when a quick counter left them two against one at the back, and it was Berbatov who stayed composed to rifle home.

Sanchez’s struck an effort from outside the box, but Giroud was unable to convert after Danijel Subasic had palmed the ball invitingly into the Frenchman’s path just before the hour mark.

Anthony Martial perhaps should have made it 3-0 when he latched onto Moutinho’s flick, but Ospina did well to close the angle quickly.

Arsenal had a great chance to reduce the deficit when Theo Walcott escape the attention of Elderson, but Welbeck could only fire the ball at his teammate with the goal at his mercy on 64 minutes.

Monaco were content to soak up pressure and hit the Gunners on the counter and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco was guilty of wasting a chance when he went through on goal and fired a tame effort with Bernardo Silva in a better position.

The French side were made to pay for their profligacy when Oxlade-Chamberlain curled in an effort from outside the box as the clock ticked into stoppage time.

However, Ferreira Carrasco made amends three minutes into added on time to give the visitors a major advantage ahead of the second leg.

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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