Nacho Monreal. Arsenal’s Mr Reliable. His arrival on the 31st of January 2013 may not have been viewed with much optimism, but he has since proved to be one of Arsenal’s best and most consistent defenders. Here are three games this season when Nacho Monreal has proved his importance to Arsenal.
1. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Carabao Cup semi-final 2nd leg)
Arsenal were victorious over London rivals Chelsea and will face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on the 25th February. Nacho Monreal, the “silent leader” is one of the main reasons why Arsenal are in the final. The Spanish defender’s header, twice deflected off Marco Alonso and then Antonio Rudiger, was responsible for Arsenal’s crucial equaliser.
Monreal’s defending was also superb. He made more blocks and tackles than anyone else on the pitch along with a pass completion rate of 91%. He gave his all for the team and it paid off.
2. Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
34 minutes. That was all it took for Monreal to make his impact on this match and help Arsenal to a much-needed win. Arsenal were 3-0 up after 13 minutes and Monreal was involved all three goals. Monreal scored the first goal in the 6th minute, then set up Alex Iwobi’s 10th-minute goal and Laurent Koscielny’s 13th-minute goal.
Monreal’s involvement in Arsenal’s first three goals was as many as in his previous 43 Premier League games combined. Monreal went off injured in the 34th minute. By that point, his Man of the Match award was secured.
3. Arsenal 2-0 West Bromwich Albion (Premier League)
Alexandre Lacazette scored the goals but Monreal proved just as important at the other end. West Brom made life difficult for Arsenal, especially in the first half, and it could have led to a goal if not for Monreal. His fantastic goal-line clearance denied Jay Rodriguez a headed goal which would have been the equaliser for West Brom. Amazing defending from the Spaniard.
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