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Arsenal and Monaco: The statistics that set up an enticing match

Lately, France has been twinned with Newcastle rather than North London, but we’ve delved into le history books to see how Arsenal fare against French teams in European competition.

by David Lyons | February 25, 2015

Ah oui.

The last time Arsenal faced Monaco at the Emirates was in a friendly in August when Falcao scored the only goal. How times have changed. Arsenal are back winning and Falcao couldn’t score in a brothel with Bill Gates’ credit card.

Friendly aside, Arsenal have a great record against French teams in competition, and now they face Monaco in the knockout stage of the Champions League. This is Arsenal’s 15th consecutive appearance in the last 16, but as of late Wenger’s fellas can’t really get past the knockout stage. Four years in a row to be precise. Hmm.

Cats always land on their feet, toast always lands butter-side down, so we’re gearing up for an event akin to a cat jumping off a counter with a buttered piece of toast tied to its back.

22 games in total, with 13 wins, seven draws and only two defeats to French opposition gives Wenger, and to quote Tim Sherwood, “a 59% win ratio that’s second to none.” Arsenal are looking like they may well have this tie sewn up, but Monaco got through their group with a defence tighter than a nun’s… pet duck’s arse.

Monaco conceded only one goal in the group stages so it might be a quiet night for Welbz and the boys. The Arsenal defenders might have it easier, as even though Monaco topped their group, they did only manage to rustle the net four times in six games. 

Auxerre were the last French team to beat Arsenal back in 2003, 2-1 in Highbury during the group stages. Interestingly, only once has a game between Arsenal and a French side gone above three goals, and that was way back in the UEFA Cup against Nantes when it finished 3-0 and 3-3. So if you fancy it, under 2.5 goals is 4/6.

When Arsenal qualified from their group, they were sixth in the league and 13 points off the pace set by Chelsea. Now though, they are up to third and only… eh 12 points off the pace.

Monaco haven’t been here since 2004, but they’ve gone through against English clubs in their last three knockout encounters: in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup quarter finals v Newcastle, in the 1997/98 Champions League quarter finals v Manchester United and in the 2003/04 Champions League semi-finals v Chelsea.

 

The biggest nearly game that Arsenal ever played was the 2006 Final, which was (surprise surprise), played in France. Thierry Henry’s shoulders are surely still sore after carrying his team to that final, where they lost 2-1 to Barcelona after Jens Lehmann acted the maggot and got sent off.

Sanchez has scored in each of his three Champions League games at the Emirates, but Monaco have kept five clean sheets. Arsenal rarely lose to a French side but Monaco have beaten all their previous English knockout opponents.

See what I mean about the toasty cat now? Arsenal might be heavy favourites for tonight’s game yet I’m thinking a draw at 29/10.

Arsenal in the knockout stage, Wenger against his old club Monaco… What will happen? Who will win? Will the cat’s feet touch the ground first or will the kitchen floor be covered in butter and crumbs?

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