Champions League

Arsenal form bodes well: Bould

2012-09-19 09:03
Steve Bould (AP)

Montpellier - Arsenal's assistant coach Steve Bould said his side's 2-1 win at Montpellier in the Champions League on Tuesday represented a promising start to a daunting run of fixtures.

First-half goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho enabled Arsenal to fight back after Younes Belhanda gave Montpellier an early lead at Stade de la Mosson, leaving the Gunners level on points with Schalke at the top of Group B.

After previous wins over Liverpool and Southampton, Arsenal now have three consecutive victories behind them, but the sequence of matches taking them into October could determine their objectives for the rest of the season.

Arsenal visit English champions Manchester City on Sunday and host European champions Chelsea on September 29, before returning to Champions League duty with a home game against Olympiakos on October 3.

Bould, who was deputising for the suspended Arsene Wenger in Montpellier, said that the way the visitors withstood a second-half surge from their hosts augured well for the forthcoming showdown with City.

"We'll go in there with a bit of confidence, and people have the belief that things are going well," he said.

"It'll be a proper test, but it's where we want to be and hopefully we'll come out the other side and say that we've done well again.

"We've had a decent start to the season. This keeps the run going, and not just for the Champions League. We've got some tough games coming up.

"We've got great spirit and that was evident tonight. Everyone was digging in, and things are looking OK."

Arsenal's evening had started badly when Younes Belhanda coolly chipped Vito Mannone from the penalty spot after Thomas Vermaelen conceded a penalty for a foul on the Moroccan playmaker.

However, goals in quick succession from Podolski and Gervinho meant that Arsenal needed only nine minutes to turn the game around, and Bould praised the sang-froid displayed by Podolski as he slotted home his 16th-minute equaliser.

"I've not seen many finishers as good as him, ever," said the former Arsenal centre-back.

"In training, it's right foot, left foot; it goes in at 100 miles an hour. He's just fabulous -- a good trainer, and a good boy. He's really added something this year."

A summer arrival from Cologne, Podolski has now scored three goals for his new employers.

Fellow new boy Olivier Giroud, in contrast, is still waiting for his first goal, but it was his instinctive touch that set up Podolski's equaliser and Bould lauded the Frenchman's performance against his former club.

"I thought he did a really good team job," he said.

"He works really hard for the team, and at set pieces he's fabulous. He had one chance, at the near post, but that was difficult. He's a really hard-working boy, and I'm sure the goals will come."

Montpellier's preparations for their first ever Champions League match had been far from ideal, the French champions having lost three and drawn one of their first five Ligue 1 matches.

However, in the second half they played with an air of self-belief that belied their domestic struggles, while Remy Cabella came desperately close to an equaliser with an audacious chip that came back off the crossbar.

"I'm aware of what the boys have done," said Montpellier coach Rene Girard.

"You can't be happy when you lose but there were lots of satisfactions. I think it could be a launchpad for our season.

"We caused problems for one of Europe's big teams. So there were lots of satisfactions, but it was a defeat, so it's always a bit annoying."

Montpellier host Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Friday, while their next assignment in the Champions League is a trip to Schalke at the start of October.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  champions league  |  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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
16 September 2014
Liverpool v Ludogorets Razgrad, Anfield 20:45
Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg, Estadio da Luz 20:45
Juventus v Malmö FF, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Olympiakos v Atlético de Madrid, Karaiskaki Stadium 20:45
Real Madrid v FC Basel, Santiago Bernabéu 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
Galatasaray v RSC Anderlecht, Türk Telekom Arena 20:45
17 September 2014
FC Bayern München v Manchester City, Allianz Arena 20:45
Ajax v Paris Saint Germain, Amsterdam ArenA 20:45
Barcelona v Apoel Nicosia, Camp Nou 20:45
FC Porto v BATE Borisov, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
NK Maribor v Sporting Lisbon, Ljudski Vrt 20:45
Roma v CSKA Moscow, Olimpico 20:45
Athletic Club v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Mamés 20:45
Chelsea v FC Schalke 04, Stamford Bridge 20:45
30 September 2014
CSKA Moscow v FC Bayern München, Arena Khimki 18:00
BATE Borisov v Athletic Club, Borisov Arena 20:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Porto, Donbass Arena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Chelsea, Estadio José Alvalade 20:45
Manchester City v Roma, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Apoel Nicosia v Ajax, GSP Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint Germain v Barcelona, Parc des Princes 20:45
FC Schalke 04 v NK Maribor, VELTINS-Arena 20:45
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
Vote

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

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

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.