Another season, seemingly the same story for Gunners fans. You cannot call it a jinx, their plight is completely self-inflected, and this Champions League wound is pretty enormous.
Arsenal fans, players and management would have been licking their lips when they were drawn against minnows Monaco for the round-of-16 tie. Arguably one of the weakest (on paper) teams left in the competition, Wenger would have seen this as the ideal stepping stone to progress further in a trophy he is yet to win at Arsenal.
Goals from Geoffrey Kondogbia and even more excruciatingly, Dimitar Berbatov means they now face a perilous situation in the second leg in France on March 17 as they bid to end a stuttering recent record in the competition. This will be the fifth year in a row Wenger's side could be knocked out in the round of 16.
But it won't be easy.
Monaco looked solid throughout, and former Porto talisman Joao Moutinho pulled the strings exquisitely throughout the game. Monaco, a side with as many as five first-team starters missing and an average team age of 24 were somewhat expected to get a hiding. But we were wrong.
Some critics are already calling this one of Wenger's worst Champions League nights, and with a few to choose from already, it really doesn't help Arsenal's case for silverware in Europe.
Arsenal lacked shape, depth and guile. Monaco seemingly had answers to all of Arsenal's questions, and what expressed this most was their attitude after pulling a goal back.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had pulled back a fantastic goal for Arsenal to give them hope, but the same player quickly gave the ball away to allow a third Monaco goal scored by Yannick Ferriera-Carrasco. Careless play quickly distinguished any Arsenal hope by this point, and the task in France went from hard to seriously difficult.
This will be the fifth year in a row Wenger's side could be knocked out in the round of 16, which makes for disappointing reading for Arsenal fans and players alike,
The worry for Wenger is that this awful Champions League performance could effect the rest of Arsenal's domestic campaign too. With a massive game against Everton on Sunday, the team may still be getting over their Champions League hangover.
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