Home Sports Football Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-3 Monaco
Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-3 Monaco

Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-3 Monaco

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A truly horrific performance from Arsenal surely gave Monaco an easy passage through to the last eight of the Champions League last night, folding on the big occasion.

Goals from Geoffrey Kondogbia, Dimitar Berbatov and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco gave Monaco an unexpected, though fully deserved victory on a famous night for the principality side. Every one of their players performed brilliantly on the big occasion whereas Arsenal’s stars crumbled against what appeared to be the easiest last 16 opponents.

The Gunners now travel to Monaco needing to score at least three times to progress or face another humiliating Champions League exit. Here are how the players rated from last night’s horror show.

Arsenal

David Ospina: The Colombian was sloppy with his passing and could have got more of a hand on Carrasco’s last minute strike, but little else to criticise Ospina for. It was his defence that let him down big time. 6

Hector Bellerin: Outclassed on the right in defensive positions, and weak going forwards, proving Arsenal cannot rely on youth products well below the standard they wish to be at. Martial targeted the Spaniard and harassed him on numerous occasions. A booking was inevitable and the least of his concerns. 4

Per Mertesacker: At the other end of the scale, Mertesacker, a World Cup winner, showed the defensive nous of a young Saul Goodman. His error for the second goal transformed the game as he decided to press in the final third instead of tracking his man, and Berbatov took full advantage. If David Luiz is known as a ‘PlayStation player’, Mertesacker must be a ‘DreamCast player’. 4

Laurent Koscielny: Tried to defend properly in spite of the shenanigans his team mates were getting up to, ‘Bosscielny’ – as he is known in the Arsenal dressing room – afforded Monaco far too much space in front and paid the price. Couldn’t stop goals number two or three, but Berbatov had him on a string all night. 5

Kieran Gibbs: Like Bellerin, Gibbs’ forays forward proved fruitless and was dominated by the discipline of the Monaco’s right side. His integration with Arsenal’s attacking players often ended badly, though provided a much safer option than Nacho Monreal. Just think Arsenal fans, it could have been worse. 5

Francis Coquelin: Another example proving that average youth products do not add to the team in games of this magnitude. Coquelin’s passion was there for all to see, and Monaco were clever enough to use it to their advantage to win set-pieces. A mere mortal when compared to Kondogbia, a man who dominated Coquelin as though he was playing in the park with his son. Serious weakness in a position of great importance. 3

Santi Cazorla: He showed signs of spark in the first half, but any hope of fireworks in the second were extinguished quick-smart. Arsenal’s creative hub, Cazorla had looked promising on the ball, and was therefore drowned out by the imposing Monaco midfield and outshined by the irrepressible Joao Moutinho. 5

Danny Welbeck: The former Manchester United man appears to have the physique of Didier Drogba but the instincts of Michael Owen, and that’s not a dig at his commentary skills because we’d rather listen to next door’s easily startled dog than Owen. Welbeck never seems to know what to do, and looked totally lost when asked to play through the middle. Ozil gets a pasting in the media on a weekly basis and questions need to be asked of Arsenal’s £16 million man. 5

Mesut Ozil: Oh the media are going to have a field day with this latest Ozil performance. Nobody was even sure that the German World Cup winner had actually emerged for the second half before Gary Neville did our adding up for us. Hopelessly out of touch with his team mates and lacking of any sort of creative energy, Ozil goes from hot to cold as frequently as a Travelodge shower. 3

Alexis Sanchez: The Chilean tried and tried and tried to inject some sort of rhythm and panic into the game, so much so that he’s the only one we feel any sympathy for. Foreigners are regularly accused for their sloppy work rate (re: Ozil) and tendency to step off the gas whilst they earn big bucks (re: Arshavin), and Sanchez thankfully falls into neither of these categories. Arsenal’s reliance on him has almost crushed the poor man and his recent performances are evidence of that. Keep plugging away Alexis, get well soon. 6

Olivier Giroud: His open goal miss will be one of the flashpoints when pundits analyse Arsenal’s impending Champions League exit, though Giroud had many opportunities to salvage a goal or two. Several headers left Subasic untested as Monaco’s centre-backs dealt with him and Arsenal’s fellow strikers comfortably. On the plus side, his hair looked on point as usual. 4

Subs:

Theo Walcott: His runs off the back of Elderson certainly added threat to Arsenal’s game, and the England winger was unlucky not to have poked in an Arsenal consolation. Unfortunate to thwart Welbeck’s goalbound shot, he’ll be one to watch when Arsenal play the second leg. 6

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: A mixed bag for the Ox who went from hero to zero in a matter of minutes. Clearly short of match fitness, he stumbled his way through his return to football before unleashing a sumptuous curling effort to make it 2-1. Then messed up defensively allowing Carrasco to score the all-important third goal. 6

Tomas Rosicky: Clumsily gave the ball away at the end and failed to have any real impact in getting Arsenal back into the game. 5

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Monaco

Danijel Subasic: Charged out of his goal when called upon and was fortunate Arsenal’s forwards couldn’t capitalise on a couple of rebounds. 6

Almamy Toure: Dealt with Arsenal’s wide players in spite of his limited experience and showed that the occasion didn’t overawe him. A sound defensive display. 7

Wallace: Alongside the imposing Abdennour, Wallace handled the physicality of Giroud comfortably all evening. Went wandering at times leaving doubt about his defensive positioning, though made up for it with several last ditch blocks. 7

Aymen Abdennour: A star at the back for Monaco, Abdennour chased and harried every Arsenal player in possession. Strong and commanding in the air and on the floor, Monaco’s physical dominance stemmed from him and Kondogbia. 8

Elderson: Comfortable for an hour until Theo Walcott came on and gave him the runaround. Lost the winger on a number of occasions and lucky it didn’t result in anything costly. 6

Nabil Dirar: Defensively spectacular, Dirar (and Martial to a lesser extent) protected the full-backs and gave Arsenal little width to play with. Didn’t get forwards as much consequently, though countered that with a solid shift for his side. 7

Fabinho: You’d never guess this guy hadn’t played in the middle before tonight. Kondogbia stood out but Fabinho’s composure and off the ball work gave him the platform to excel. Provided plenty of energy and commitment throughout. 7

Geoffrey Kondogbia: Man of the match. The former Sevilla midfielder is a future star. Much in the mould of Yaya Toure, Kondogbia bullied Arsenal’s midfield and showed he possesses enough technique to hold onto the ball. Got lucky for the goal but fully deserved a memento from the game. 9

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Anthony Martial: Another star – the 19-year-old showed a dangerous attacking intent and scared the pants off of Hector Bellerin. Could have made more of attacking chances on a night when his stock soared. 8

Joao Moutinho: Relatively unheard of since his Porto days, Moutinho had a point to prove to those who hadn’t seen him in Ligue 1 last year. The classy Portuguese midfielder added quality touches and composure to Monaco’s surprisingly  assured forward line. 8

Dimitar Berbatov: Looked a different player to the slack worker he was in his Fulham days. His touches of class proved vital for Monaco and scored a massive goal to make it 2-0. Frustrated the Arsenal defence all evening with his hold-up play, though could be slated for his work rate. Again. 7

Subs:

Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco: Instant impact with the goal, Carrasco will torment Arsenal in the second leg when fully fit. Finished his goal with aplomb. 7

Layvin Kurzawa: Steadied up the side at 2-0. Powerless to prevent the Ox’s strike. 5

Bernardo Silva: Showboated his way through a six minute cameo and attempted to hold the ball in the corners. 6

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