Arsenal duo Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud both admit Monaco deserved their Champions League win, despite manager Arsene Wenger insisting otherwise.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg of their last 16 tie, the Gunners needed to win by three clear goals on Tuesday (17 March) to become the first team in the Champions League era to turn around a two goal deficit away from home.
Goals from Giroud and Aaron Ramsey brought the club within touching distance of a place in the quarter-finals, but the club were unable to capitalise on their dominance and crashed out of the competition for the fifth straight season at the round of 16 stage.
Following the defeat, Wenger insisted Monaco did not deserve to progress having seen his former club fail to register a single shot on target.
But members of his first team were quick to admit the best team won over two legs.
Mertesacker said: "We could have done more but [Monaco] deserve it I think. Today was absolutely fantastic from the lads. The progress in the last month has been absolutely amazing."
"We are disappointed, but we gave everything," Giroud was quoted as saying by Tutto Mercato Web. "We had in our mind the three goals conceded at home, but now you have to get up and do the best in the competitions in which you are still in. We tried to push to the end, but Monaco held up well and has not stolen qualification."
Following Wenger's comments, Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim accused the Gunners boss of showing disrespect to his side, also revealing he refused to shake the Frenchman's hand post-match.
"In the first leg, when I wanted to thank Arsene and shake his hand, it's true that Arsene didn't shake my hand, so even though Monaco did everything to make life comfortable for Arsenal tonight, I decided not to thank him," Jardim said.
"I think it was disrespectful. Right now, we're celebrating and we think Arsenal did not show enough respect during the first leg."