Three games that should encourage Arsenal ahead of Monaco meeting

Arsenal are certainly up against it after a 3-1 defeat to Monaco in the first-leg of their Champions League tie, but these three matches offer some hope.

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal face a mission difficult but certainly not impossible at Stade Louis II and while Tom Cruise may have long departed the north London club, they have plenty of Champions League A-listers to call upon.

The Gunners must score three times in the Principality of Monaco to progress – no small feat when you consider that the Ligue 1 side shipped just one goal in the group phase – but there is reason to believe.

Here are three games that should encourage Arsenal fans ahead of kick-off.

AS Monaco 0 – 3 Leeds United – September 12th 1995

Granted, referencing a UEFA Cup game from the mid-90s may not be the best of starts, but Leeds United created the blueprint for how to demolish Les Rouges et Blancs on their own turf.

Attacking Monaco from the very start, Leeds grabbed the initiative with an early goal before steadying things and going for the jugular as the game went on with two further goals after the break.

Spearheaded by the in-form Tony Yeboah and a solid back line, the Whites' opener after three minutes against an arguably superior Monaco side was crucial – Arsenal take note.

Bordeaux 4 – 1 AS Monaco - August 17th 2014

While much has been made of the fact that Monaco have the most miserly defence in the history of the Champions League, it’s important to recall a time that the Ligue 1 side’s backline was badly exposed.

It came at the start of this very campaign, with Monaco pressing the self-destruct button – having been 1-0 up on Bordeaux – to lose 4-1 in a game where they conceded two penalties and struggled to cope with the pace and attacking flow of the hosts.

With all four goals conceded after the break, the game shows the principality club are more than capable of a Champions League collapse of their own.

Monaco 0 – 0 Bastia – February 4th 2015

Facing off against mid-table Bastia in the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue last month, Monaco must have been confident of progressing to a showdown with Paris Saint-Germain.

Leonardo Jardim opted to field a near full-strength side for the meeting at Stade Louis II, but it was a choice that backfired badly for the former Sporting Lisbon manager.

In fact, Monaco were dominated for large periods by the underdog visitors who registered more shots and eventually triumphed on penalties, with former Arsenal flop Sebastian Squillaci netting the decisive spot-kick. The hosts looked far from invincible.

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