Monaco's Colombian star sentences Arsenal to defeat in Emirates Cup
PUBLISHED: 18:16 03 August 2014 | UPDATED: 21:22 03 August 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsenal 0 Monaco 1
Radamel Falcao’s first-half header was enough to secure victory for Monaco as Arsenal missed out again on the Emirates Cup.
The Colombian striker nodded home the only goal in the final game of the four-team tournament at Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal unable to find the equaliser that would have clinched the trophy.
That meant the silverware went to Valencia, who finished ahead of the French side in the table after coming from behind to beat Benfica 3-1 earlier in the day.
Goalmouth action was somewhat scarce in the opening stages, although Falcao went close with a header, while the dangerous Lucas Ocampos set up Joao Moutinho for a chance that was bundled wide.
Arsenal briefly threatened when Aaron Ramsey’s clever dink sent Olivier Giroud scampering through, but the striker stumbled over the ball and it bobbled out of play.
It took more than half an hour for either goalkeeper to make a save, with Wojciech Szczesny diving to clasp a low drive from Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco.
But the Gunners looked vulnerable to balls into their penalty area and they eventually fell behind to one such example eight minutes before the break.
Jack Wilshere was booked for a clumsy challenge on Nabil Dirar and Moutinho whipped in the resulting free-kick for the unmarked Falcao to head home.
Arsenal finally carved out a clear chance early in the second half, with Cazorla setting up Wilshere for a close-range left-foot attempt that was beaten away by Danijel Subasic.
The home side continued to apply pressure and Ignasi Miquel’s header was saved before Cazorla set up Alexis Sanchez, who fired wide with the outside of his boot.
That was as close as the Chilean star came to opening his account for the Gunners and he was withdrawn, along with Wilshere and Cazorla, in the last quarter of an hour.
Two of their replacements combined to create Arsenal’s best chance of an equaliser nine minutes from time, when Gedion Zelalem threaded a pass through for Chuba Akpom.
Akpom was felled by Subasic on the edge of the box, but referee Martin Atkinson took a lenient approach by awarding a yellow card and a free-kick, which Ramsey obligingly stabbed tamely into the wall.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Debuchy (Bellerin 89), Chambers (Miquel 45), Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Wilshere (Zelalem 74); Sanchez (Flamini 74), Ramsey, Cazorla (Akpom 74); Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain 45).