A banner held aloft among the away support here before kick-off proclaimed thanks to Arsene Wenger for everything he had done for Monaco.
They didn’t know that, 21 years after leaving the club, he had one final gift for the Ligue 1 club.
Arsenal’s dreadful 3-1 home defeat on Wednesday leaves them staring at a Champions League last-16 exit for the fifth season in a row.
When Yanick Ferreira-Carrasco fired in Monaco’s third with virtually the last kick of the game, the whole visiting bench ran on to the pitch to celebrate, pumping their fists towards the sky, Jose Mourinho-style. The 3,000 colour co-ordinated travelling fans could barely believe it as they lit flares and made this pocket of north London their own.
They knew that it was the goal that leaves Arsenal requiring a miracle to progress to the quarter-finals, needing to score at least three times in the return leg next month.
There has been no shame in Arsenal’s recent eliminations by some of the best teams on the continent in Bayern Munich, Barcelona and AC Milan. At the same stage last season, Arsenal also lost 3-1 at home against against a Bayern side trying to defend their trophy.
But this year they didn’t even wait for a top side as they were embarrassed by the same scoreline against what was essentially a Monaco B team missing five of their best players through injury.
A team that scored just four goals in their group campaign but could easily have reached double figures for the competition with the chances they had tonight.
The Gunners’ 3-1 defeat to Arsene Wenger’s former club was among their most humiliating experiences in Europe.
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