Champions League

Win not enough for Arsenal

2015-03-17 23:52
Olivier Giroud (AFP)

Monaco - Monaco rode their luck and survived an Arsenal onslaught to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after a 2-0 home defeat saw the tie finish 3-3 on aggregate on Tuesday.

Arsenal, looking to become the first team to overcome a two-goal home first-leg deficit in the Champions League, came agonisingly close to progressing after Olivier Giroud and substitute Aaron Ramsey scored in each half.

But the principality side's 3-1 win at the Emirates was just enough to see them through after Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic spectacularly denied striker Giroud five minutes from time.

The hosts took a cautious approach as they tried to preserve their first-leg lead, failing to get a single shot on target, and were fortunate to make it into the last eight.

Arsenal got off to a sluggish start in the last 16, second leg but Monaco struggled to contain them once Arsene Wenger's determined team got into their stride.

The London side had the first clear chance but Giroud's header from Hector Bellerin's cross went just wide of the top corner.

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny came closer in the 23rd minute when he blasted the ball against the bar from a few metres out although the France defender was harshly adjudged to be offside even though the ball came to him from a Monaco head.

Arsenal stepped up the pressure and were rewarded in the 36th when Subasic denied Giroud, only for the ball to fall into the path of the France forward who fired into the roof of the net.

A wave of panic then hit the Monaco players and Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck's attempt from just outside the area was blocked by defender Aymen Abdennour.

Welbeck and Giroud were again denied as Monaco rode their luck to reach the break only one goal down on the night.

Subasic was made to work again seven minutes into the second half, tipping Mesut Ozil's free kick over the bar.

Monaco suddenly unleashed a flurry of attacks around the hour mark but the Arsenal defence, marshalled by Koscielny, held firm.

Wenger brought on attacking midfielder Ramsey for the more defensive Francis Coquelin in the 62nd, shortly before Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim took the opposite approach by replacing striker Dimitar Berbatov with midfielder Bernardo Silva.

Theo Walcott was then brought on for Welbeck as Arsenal pushed for a second goal, which came in the 79th when Ramsey fired a low shot past Subasic after Walcott had hit the post.


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