Champions League

Arsenal fight back to win

2012-09-18 22:59
Gervinho (AP)

Montpellier - Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1 in an end-to-end game at Champions League debutants Montpellier on Tuesday, as Arsene Wenger's side made a winning start to their Group B campaign.

Younes Belhanda stunned the visitors with a ninth-minute Panenka penalty but Arsenal hit back through quick-fire goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho to secure only their sixth win in their last 16 group-phase away games.

Remy Cabella hit the bar for Montpellier, who gave Arsenal several uneasy moments, and despite the result, the hosts' display belied a difficult start to their Ligue 1 title defence that has seen them beaten three times already.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have now recorded three straight wins after Premier League successes over Liverpool and Southampton, although Olivier Giroud is still without a goal after failing to score on his return to his former club.

Montpellier coach Rene Girard had called on the club's fans to make Stade de la Mosson "hell" for the visitors but there was a nervousness in the hosts' ranks until Belhanda's penalty brought the stadium roaring to life.

The penalty award appeared harsh but replays vindicated referee Carlos Velasco Carballo's decision to penalise Thomas Vermaelen for a robust challenge on Belhanda, who beat Vito Mannone with a nonchalant chipped spot-kick.

It was a better start than Montpellier's fans could have hoped for on their team's first ever appearance in the competition, but within only nine minutes the French champions found themselves behind.

Giroud had received a warm reception from the supporters of his former club but he created the equaliser in the 16th minute with a prodded through ball for fellow summer signing Podolski that the German guided past Geoffrey Jourdren.

Montpellier barely had time to gather their senses before Arsenal struck again, as Gervinho ghosted into the six-yard area to convert Carl Jenkinson's low cross from the right.

In response, Cabella drew a save from Mannone with a low drive, while Giroud threatened to open his Arsenal account just before half-time with a volley from a Kieran Gibbs cross that flew wide.

Montpellier began to pin Arsenal back in the second period, with a succession of chances early in the half serving to raise the volume in the stadium.

Garry Bocaly and Anthony Mounier both shot off-target, while Cabella fired over after dispossessing the dallying Abou Diaby and then saw a carefully weighted chip from 20 yards come back off the bar.

Back in the Arsenal team after injury, Diaby looked ponderous at times, but in the 57th minute he drove forward and released Santi Cazorla for a shot that Jourdren had to beat away.

Belhanda's promptings were at the heart of much of Montpellier's best football, but he spurned a glorious chance to bring his side level in the 80th minute.

After tip-toeing around the prone Per Mertesacker, the Moroccan playmaker found himself with a clear sight of goal, but from 10 yards out he could only shoot straight at Mannone.

Champions League results on Tuesday:

Group A

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) 0, FC Porto (Portugal) 2
Paris Saint-Germain (France) 4, Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine) 1

Group B

Montpellier (France) 1, Arsenal (England) 2
Olympiakos (Greece) 1, Schalke (Germany) 2

Group C

Malaga (Spain) 3, Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia) 0
AC Milan (Italy) 0, Anderlecht (Belgium) 0

Group D

Borussia Dortmund (Germany) 1, Ajax (Netherlands) 0
Real Madrid (Spain) 3, Manchester City (England) 2

Read more on:    arsenal  |  montpellier  |  champions league  |  gervinho  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!
Fixtures
09 December 2014
Liverpool v FC Basel, Anfield 21:45
Benfica v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Juventus v Atlético de Madrid, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Olympiakos v Malmö FF, Karaiskaki Stadium 21:45
Real Madrid v Ludogorets Razgrad, Santiago Bernabéu 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v RSC Anderlecht, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Zenit St Petersburg, Stade Louis II 21:45
Galatasaray v Arsenal, Türk Telekom Arena 21:45
10 December 2014
FC Bayern München v CSKA Moscow, Allianz Arena 21:45
Ajax v APOEL Nicosia, Amsterdam ArenA 21:45
Barcelona v Paris Saint Germain, Camp Nou 21:45
FC Porto v Shakhtar Donetsk, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
NK Maribor v FC Schalke 04, Ljudski Vrt 21:45
Roma v Manchester City, Olimpico 21:45
Athletic Club v BATE Borisov, San Mamés 21:45
Chelsea v Sporting Lisbon, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.