Arsène Wenger was wary going into this second game in two days. "AS Monaco have some very talented players like Falcao and Kondogbia," said the former AS Monaco manager. An accurate appraisal, as it turned out. Falcao grabbed the winner, while Kondogbia and Bakayoko dominated the middle of the park.
Falcao back with a bang
Fresh from their emphatic win over Benfica (5-1), Arsenal looked to have one hand on their fourth Emirates Cup. But their Monegasque visitors had other ideas. Leonardo Jardim's players produced something of an upset this afternoon, by keeping it simple and working hard to close down their opponents. With Raggi taking over the captain's armband, AS Monaco dominated proceedings for much of the first-half, exploiting the flanks and firing a succession of dangerous crosses into Szczesny's area. Their superiority was rewarded as Falcao nodded them into the lead. Six months and a few days after going under the knife for knee surgery, the Columbian striker had a grand total of 57 minutes of game time under his belt, but looked fresh as a daisy as he rose - completely unmarked - to head home a superb free kick by Moutinho (37 mins). The visitors were well worth their half-time lead.
After the break, the Gunners stepped up their game and took control of the ball. Subasic was forced into a miraculous point-blank save from Wilshere after good work from Sanchez. The Monaco defence had to contend with corner after corner. But skipper Raggi stood firm alongside an impressive Carvalho. There was controversy to come, as on 80 minutes, Apkom got in behind the visitors' defence, forcing Suba to come charging out of his goal. But the goalkeeper arrived a split second too late, missing the ball and scything down the onrushing attacker. It was a clear foul and a yellow card for Suba, but was it inside the area? After some discussion between the officials, Martin Atkinson eventually signalled a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, to the relief of the Monaco players. From the resulting kick, the wall stood firm. There was still time for a couple of quick counter attacks by YFC and Germain, but in the end Falcao's first-half effort settled the encounter.
Valencia lift the trophy
Despite the victory, AS Monaco finished third with 7 points (1 draw, 1 win, 3 goals), behind Arsenal (1 win, 1 defeat, 5 goals = 8 points) and Valencia (1 draw, 1 win, 5 goals = 9 points). Congratulations to the Spanish side, winners of this seventh Emirates Cup…
Attention now turns to the new league season, which kicks off on Sunday 10 August when AS Monaco host FC Lorient. There are still some seats left at the Louis-II >>> TICKETING