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Clinical Monaco catch Arsenal cold

Arsenal FC 1-3 AS Monaco FC
Geoffrey Kondogbia and Dimitar Berbatov put Monaco in charge before Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco's late third as ASM closed on a first quarter-final since 2004.

Arsenal 1-3 Monaco: the story in photos ©AFP/Getty Images

Monaco disciplined in defence and devastating in attack at Arsenal
Geoffrey Kondogbia (38) and Dimitar Berbatov (53) put Monaco in command
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gives Arsenal late hope (90+1)
Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco promptly restores Monaco's two-goal cushion (90+4)
The second leg is on 17 March, with the quarter-final draw three days later

AS Monaco FC are on the verge of a first UEFA Champions League quarter-final since reaching the 2004 final after a clinical performance earned victory at Arsenal FC.

The visitors, in European competition for the first time since 2005/06, conceded only one goal in the group stage and continued that form in north London. Arsenal, eliminated in the round of 16 in each of the past four seasons, enjoyed more possession but Monaco made the most of the ball they did get, breakaway goals either side of half-time from Geoffrey Kondogbia and Dimitar Berbatov putting them in control.

Arsenal substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain briefly revived home hopes, only for Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco to restore Monaco's two-goal cushion in the closing seconds.

Looking to make the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, Arsenal began brightly, Danny Welbeck turning Elderson in just the second minute but, stretching, shooting too high. Arsène Wenger had clearly instructed his charges to be positive from the outset against the team he coached from 1987 to 1994; Santi Cazorla narrowly failed to supply Welbeck moments later.

Monaco, however, had shipped a mere three goals in their previous 17 matches in all competitions and soon showed exactly why, closing down space in a disciplined central block that Arsenal found increasingly difficult to penetrate. Olivier Giroud did head wide from a corner but in the main Monaco held their hosts at bay.

And then, seven minutes before half-time, came the sucker punch. Welbeck was dispossessed narrowly inside the Arsenal half and João Moutinho squared for Kondogbia. The midfielder's drive was speculative, but a decisive deflection off Per Mertesacker sent the ball flying past the wrong-footed David Ospina.