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UEFA Champions League

Monaco Shock Arsenal

UEFA Champions League

Round of 16

1st leg

Full Time: Arsenal 1-3 Monaco

Date: 25 February 2015

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Despite dominating the possession stakes Arsenal lost 3-1 to Monaco in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16, first leg match at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Gunners started positively as Danny Welbeck broke forward in the second minute, but under pressure from Elderson Echiejile he fired over from an acute angle on the right 14-yards out.

Arsenal continued to control the possession stakes and dictate the flow of the game, but their decision making in the final third was poor which resulted in very few clear-cut chances on goal.

The next decent effort on goal came in the 24th minute when Oliver Giroud met a cross from Alexis Sanchez, but he headed wide from 12-yards out.

In the 33rd minute Sanchez came close to scoring himself when a well-worked move by the home side saw him in space 16-yards out, but he directed his shot inches over the crossbar.

Five minutes later, very much against the run of play, Monaco took the lead when a 35-yard shot from Geoffrey Kondogbia deflected off Per Mertesacker and found its way into the back of the net, 1-0.

The second half saw Arsenal start well again, but Giroud wasted a golden scoring chance a minute after the break when he turned a Sanchez cross wide from only a couple of yards out.

Giroud was at fault again in the 52nd minute when Santiago Cazorla picked him out win a pin-point left-sided free-kick, but he headed wide under no pressure.

A minute later Monaco doubled their lead with a counter-attack that concluded with Dimitar Berbatov producing a clinical finish from 16-yards out after being put through on goal by Anthony Martial, 2-0.

Danny Welbeck should really have pulled a goal back in the 64th minute when he met a rebounded shot off the keeper, but with an empty net at his mercy he fired over from six-yards out.

Arsenal spent the rest of the half on the attack, but struggled to breach a stubborn Monaco defence.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to give Arsenal some hope ahead of the second leg as he pulled a goal back in the 91st minute with a clinical 20-yard strike, 2-1.

That joy, however, was short-lived as Yannick Carrasco restored Monaco’s two goal lead in the 94th minute, 3-1.

Soccer Laduma Headlines, February 25

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