Urgh, the Champions League is back!

In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we got our writers together for a short prediction on how they thought the game would pan out.

Sometimes I wish we didn’t bother

Lee Hurley Predicted Win 2-0

Leaderless on the pitch, nervous, stunted and scared. In short, a total shambles.

I knew it wouldn’t be as easy as people imagined it could be but I also knew Monaco were there for the taking, as our numerous wasted chances showed.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Arsenal perform like this and although I fully expect us to go to Monaco and play without the fear we showed on Wednesday night, needing three goals against this Monaco defence, like needing three against Bayern, or four against AC Milan, will most likely prove to be a step too far.

I’m not angry, just very, very disappointed and somehow that feels worse. I can’t wait for all the coverage on Arsenal.com telling us how they will learn their lessons from this, a story we’ve been hearing for years now.

Still, at least we can look forward to doing it all again next year, eh? Let the race for fourth begin!

Helen Trantum Predicted Win 3-1

I can’t remember what I predicted; I really don’t think it matters though as I won’t have predicted that utter shambles.

Monaco made us work for our chances; we gifted them theirs. Monaco scored their chances; we missed ours (often badly). Monaco played consistently and sensibly; we made bad decisions at the crucial times.

This was a game which turned on a couple of key moments, notably us missing our early chances and then giving away a pathetic deflected goal. It left us broken, deflated and in utter disarray.

I’m sure we’ll win the away leg 2-0 and go out on away goals as usual, but to concede so late after actually getting a toehold in the tie is unforgivable. The manager will likely take a lot of the flack but he also has a right to expect senior players to deliver greater contribution and better in-game management than the likes of Per ‘accomplice in all three goals‘ Mertesacker managed.

Have we got enough proof yet that coincidental clean sheets do not make Ospina a good enough goalkeeper?

No time for feeling sorry for ourselves as we’re straight back on the horse on Sunday. Good, as I need this one out my system pronto.

Stephen Bradley Predicted Win 1-0

If you were to have written a list of things that Arsenal would need to do in order to throw away a cup-tie, then this game would have ticked every one of them off.

Throughout the match, we looked like a team petrified of making an error, desperate not to do anything silly.

Yet when you play scared, you make silly mistakes.

Time after time, players were caught on their heels reacting to trouble instead of pro-actively trying to stop it. Chances were snapped at, passes were rushed, tackles were mistimed and misplaced, all in an attempt to do “something” that meant we didn’t lose.

Allowing that mindset to affect us is, frankly, unacceptable, because it’s not that hard to fix. This was one of those nights that needed someone to just get a grip of the team and wake them up. It should’ve happened on the pitch, but no-one spoke up.

The fact that our best football came at the start of both halves would suggest that the manager sent them out in the right frame of mind, but the longer we played, the more apprehensive we became.

Full credit to Monaco, they deserved their win. They defended deep for 20 mins and then waited for us to choke. When we did, they pounced.

Sometimes football has nothing to do with how you play. Tonight was all about how we thought, and we came up short.

Again.

Paul Williams Predicted Win 3-1

Well, I got the scoreline right but the wrong way around. A horrible night, epitomised by the Ox giving us a lifeline and then snatching it away.

I don’t have anything else to say here, obviously, other than to note that Arsenal- again- struggled against a team who were much better organised than they are.

Plus ça change…

Sylvain Jamet Predicted Win 1-0

Arsenal knew the Monaco gameplan and just allowed them to develop it, firstly giving away a cheap deflected goal and giving two counter attack goals is just silly.

A disappointing defeat. Obviously my prediction was wrong again.

Lewis Ambrose Predicted Win 2-0

4-4 at Newcastle, falling apart in Milan, almost every defeat against a big team.

If you wanted to explain all of those over the past 10 years to someone who doesn’t watch us you’d just have to show them this game.

An impatient and individualistic showing from players didn’t allow us to create anything. Eventually the lack of patience and moments of madness led to their goals.

I don’t harbour any hope of qualifying now which is gut-wrenching after finally getting a decent draw.

Worst of all we gave ourselves a lifeline only to shoot ourselves in the foot once again.

It was like everyone forgot that full-time on Wednesday night was only half-time in the tie.

Pretty pathetic.

Nia Griffiths Predicted Win 2-0

Terrible. Just terrible.

My prediction of a 2-0 win to us was about as wrong as I could possibly be.

We looked like we didn’t even know each other and couldn’t seem to string more than two or three passes together. At points, we couldn’t even pass to each other when we were only a few feet away.

We turned up looking as if we thought we’d already won; something that we’ve done in the past and paid the price for.

I just wish we’d learn from it.

We were dire and, as much as I like to be optimistic, I think we’ve well and truly messed up any chance we had of progressing.

Hopefully they can prove me wrong.

Sean Ferguson Predicted Win 2-0

Well that was bloody awful.

No one in red came out with much credit.

We were terrible at the back, missed numerous easy chances, couldn’t find each other in the final third, got caught on the counter twice and our star men went missing when they needed to lead by example.

Earlier in the week, I stated Giroud could be our most important player in the run in. and he returned that faith by having an absolute mare.

He wasn’t the only one though. Serious questions have been asked of Ospina and Mertesacker recently and that will continue after tonight’s performance.

I was very confident before the game and thought we’d win easily, unfortunately the team played like they thought they could as well.

Sad face.

Mark Fine Predicted Win 2-0

Somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking this has all the makings of AC Milan Part Deux.

C’est la vie. Finis.

Anita Sambol Predicted Win 1-0

I’m writing this with hot head but oh well

Before match I was talking to my boyfriend about how nervous and scared I was because everyone seemed to be so optimistic and that never ends well.

It was just obvious.

As I said in my prediction, we had to score fast before they’re settled, but we didn’t. We had our chances, but it just wasn’t happening with last season’s Giroud.

After that, they took over and we were right where they wanted us to be. Add to that our ridiculous mistakes and serious lack of communication (two-three players on the ball at the same time?).

A bad night and a bad game for every single one of them, including the manager.

No idea in attack, usual chaos in defence, and all of their shots went on target. That’s it.

With that said, it’s not over yet.

We can have a good night in Monaco, we can score there just as easily as they did, and we have the players to do so.

I will be angry now, drinking those extra beers I bought, but soon, I’m sure I’ll be all “anything can happen” and I’m not writing us off just yet.

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