Arsenal have been forced to settle for a runners-up spot at this season's Emirates Cup after falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Monaco, thanks to a 37th minute header from the clinical Radamel Falcao.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger handed starts to summer signings Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers but it was Falcao who stole the show, with his first goal since January as the Colombian hitman continues to recover from a knee ligament injury which ruined his World Cup dream.
Wenger got the chance to see Chambers at centre-back, Sanchez in attack and the likes of Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere stake their claim for a starting spot in next week's Community Shield, but how did they fare?
Live from Emirates Stadium this afternoon GiveMeSport has taken a close look at Wenger's hopefuls, with mixed fortunes for a side hoping to fight for silverware on all fronts this season.
Wojciech Szczesny - 6 - Not a great to do in all honestly for the Polish stopper, who mopped up danger with quick darts off his line twice in typically confident fashion. Will be disappointed with the organisation for the set piece from which Arsenal conceded, but not a fault for Falcao's winner by any stretch of the imagination.
Mathieu Debuchy - 6 - Aerially looked competnet, which is very important because Bacary Sagna never let Arsenal down in that particulat department. Threw himself into challenges and looks every bit the modern-day, all-action full-back. Positioning and commitment to defensive resonsibility may be question marks though, particularly when alongside Per Mertesacker.
Laurent Koscielny - 5 - Relatively quiet first day back at the office one half of Arsenal's star centre-back pairing, but not a strong one. Asleep for the first goal and nearly caught out on a couple of other occasions, the Gunners will need Koscielny to find his feet quickly with Mertesacker's return delayed.
Calum Chambers - 7 - Another very impressive 45 minutes from the £16m youngster. Look composed and commanding in central defence, while covering on more than one occasion when Debuchy ventured forward. On the strength of this weekend could start against Manchester City at Wembley in the Community Shield.
Nacho Monreal - 5 - Failed to stop clever cross from Ferreira-Carrasco flashing across the six-yard box from his flank on 25 minutes, otherwise had very little to do. Still has a lot of work to do to convince as direct competition for Kieran Gibbs, Spanish international or otherwise.
Mikel Arteta - 6 - One magnificent diagonal pass to Santi Cazorla showed off the side of Arteta's game that Wenger trusts so dearly, but the Spaniard had his hands full with Geofferey Kondogbia in midfield.
Jack Wilshere - 5 - Useful 73 minute workout for the midfield maestro but he looked off the pace. Gave away possessing in central areas regularly and was booked for a wild sliding challenge that led to Monaco's goal from the following free kick. Nothing to panic about at this stage of pre-season, but this is definitely a big season for the wonderfully talented England international.
Aaron Ramsey - 6 - One particulaly potent through ball over the top for Olivier Giroud. Played futher forward than usual today, looked to enjoy it. The Welsh wizard with fine new facial hair looks all set to be one of the Premier League's most dangerous playmakers this season, despite a quiet afternoon compared to yesterday's rout of Benfica.
Santi Cazorla - 6 - Worked very hard but end product was sparing from the potent playmaker today, something you can only say sparingly. Started on the left and often drifted, his favoured role, but will have a fight on his hands to keep that place this season that's for sure.
Alexis Sanchez -7 - Considering it was the Chilean's first action of pre-season looked spritedly throughout and is blessed with a first touch that makes the game look so simple. Decision making wasn't quite there in the final third, but the second half in particular proved useful as Arsene Wenger expiremented with his £32m as the lone striker. No goals but plenty of positives, and left to standing ovation.
Olivier Giroud - 5 - French forward was clattered by Ricardo Carvalho inside two minutes and found it tough going from that point on. Some trademark flicks showed signs of post World Cup ring-rust beginning to subside, but a heavy touch and fall to the floor while bearing down on goal following a brilliant Aaron Ramsey pass undid that clever work.
Pick of the Subs:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 7 - Regularly stretched the match after coming on at the interval, flying down the right and showing the model for an Arsenal attack which could have searing pace on both sides this term.
Ignasi Miquel - 4 - In truth struggled and was cautioned for a cynical block he had to make high upfield on Valere Germain. Back from a loan spell at Leicester City but would not be surprised to see him return to the Championship for a similar spell once the transfer window slams shut.
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