Martin Keown: Arsenal can win Champions League last-16 tie against AS Monaco

Arsenal Defeat

Martin Keown believes that Arsenal can progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the expense of AS Monaco.

Martin Keown has written in The Daily Mail that Arsenal can stage a comeback against AS Monaco and progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season.

North London outfit Arsenal suffered a 3-1 defeat to Monaco at home in the first leg of the last-16 tie on Wednesday.

The Gunners were expected by many to ease past the Ligue 1 side, and their capitulation at the Emirates Stadium left football followers stunned.

Monaco took the lead through Geoffrey Kondogbia's deflected shot in the 38th minute, and doubled their advantage in the opening minutes of the second half when former Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov found the target.

Although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one back for Arsenal late on, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco made it 3-1 to Monaco in the dying seconds of the encounter.

Arsenal now have to score at least three goals in the second leg of the last-16 tie at Stade Louis II next month, and former Gunners star Keown believes that they can do just that.

“I wouldn't write Arsenal off, James,” the 48-year-old wrote in The Daily Mail when asked by a football fan whether Arsenal can win the last-16 tie.

“When you look at number of chances they had last night, they're still in it. Though Monaco might just have too much for them...

“If Arsenal do win it’d be Wenger’s finest hour. He’ll be relishing that he’ll get another chance to face them, rubbing hands together.

“He’s a proud Frenchman returning home, but it’s not a trip for nostalgia - there’s a job to do. He’s a very determined person, and two early goals would turn the tie on its head.”

Can Arsenal progress to the quarter-finals?

The odds are firmly against Arsenal, who were truly dire against Monaco on Wednesday.

Monaco are defensively very strong and last conceded three goals at home in a competitive game back in September 2011.

In their last 12 Ligue 1 matches, Leonardo Jardim’s side have conceded only three goals, and they are still in contention for a top-three finish in the league this season.

However, Keown does have a point when he says that Arsenal can get back into the tie if they can score two early goals in Monaco.

The question is whether Arsenal can do that.

Keown highlights the number of chances Arsene Wenger’s side created on Wednesday, but as the Opta Stats table below shows, Monaco created more.

Last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up also had more shots on target in the first leg at the Emirates.

  Total ShotsShots on TargetPossession PercentageChances createdTotal PassAccurate Pass
Arsenal 14 4 57% 8 546 464
Monaco 10 7 42% 9 422 337

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