It is 10 months since Nacho Monreal signed with Arsenal, and to the surprise of many he has not held off Kieran Gibbs in the race for the left-back spot.
He was even linked over the weekend with a return to Spain, with his place in Spain's World Cup squad speculated to be at risk.
With Kieran Gibbs unavailable through 'illness', Monreal was brought in for his first start in the Champions League group stages this season, although he had made three previous substitute appearances.
Monreal played all 90 minutes and looked assured throughout, helping ensure the Gunners kept a clean sheet with a goalline clearance.
Here is a selection of key stats in relation to his performance:
- Monreal had 80 touches, more than any Marseille player.
- He was one of five Arsenal players to create a goalscoring opportunity.
- His pass completion accuracy was 92 per cent, with each of his two crosses finding a teammate.
- Monreal made three successful tackles, behind only Ramsey (9), and equal to Sagna, and Rosicky.
- He also made two interceptions, the same number as Mathieu Flamini.
It was a solid all round display from the defender, and illustrated the strength in depth which we argued makes him an essential player if Arsenal are to win the Premier League title.
With it being a chance for him to stake his claim for a regular spot, we decided to take a look at Twitter to see what fans made of his display.
I wish AW wouldn't too much reliant on Kieran Gibbs, as he could play Monreal more often. Both has different quality, but equally reliable.— Wengerball™ (@Arsenalogy_ID) November 27, 2013
Monreal is soooo underrated— GoonRambler (@GoonRambler) November 26, 2013
Good night at the emirates. Back 4 looked soliiiiide. Would like to see more of Monreal.— Sean O'Sullivan (@SeanOSullivan_) November 27, 2013
Monreal and Rosicky brilliant tonight. True professionals #afc— Qasim Khan (@Kazi88Khan) November 27, 2013
Monreal was Solid 2 really good left backs in Gibbs and nacho! #AFC— Joe Cummuskey (@JoeCummuskey) November 26, 2013