Also, i suggest you re-read the entire monkey trouble fight, it literally "made me think", every time i saw a red shirt.
Also, isayama was able to create tension allowing eren to lose fights without actually losing his life by given BRA a goal, instead of just kill.
Since their goal is to take eren, isayama can have him lose to the FT, lose to CT and AT, he can lose to the secret miltary police, and it doesn't kill him off, he just gets captured.
Losing is more then just a few red shirts dying, they lose when eren gets captured.
They lose when annie crystalizes and takes all her secrets with her.
They lose when monkey trouble gets saved at the last minute before levi can find him a host.
so on an so forth, and as a result, there' genuine unpredictability and tension with ever encounter. When losing means death then we know the protagonist won't die, but when losing can be other things, the writer has the freedom to make his heroes lose without fear or losing the characters.
In any other shounen, eren choking out the collosal titan is a win, but in snk it's never about the fight itself. Failing to capture reiner and bert a top the wall, was a loss.
Eren getting captured was a double loss.