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


Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Comments have been closed for this article.
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
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
20 October 2015
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Roma, BayArena 20:45
BATE Borisov v Barcelona, Borisov Arena 20:45
Arsenal v FC Bayern Munchen, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Porto v Maccabi Tel Aviv, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Olympiakos, Maksimir 20:45
Valencia CF v KAA Gent, Mestalla 20:45
Zenit St Petersburg v Lyon, Petrovski Stadium 20:45
21 October 2015
CSKA Moscow v Manchester United, Arena Khimki 20:45
Manchester City v Sevilla, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Juventus v Borussia Monchengladbach, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 20:45
Malmo FF v Shakhtar Donetsk, Swedbank Stadion 20:45
Galatasaray v Benfica, Turk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atletico de Madrid v FC Astana, Vicente Calderon 20:45
VfL Wolfsburg v PSV, Volkswagen Arena 20:45
03 November 2015
FC Astana v Atletico de Madrid, Astana Arena 17:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Malmo FF, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Juventus, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Galatasaray, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow, Old Trafford 21:45
PSV v VfL Wolfsburg, Philips Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Manchester City, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
04 November 2015
FC Bayern Munchen v Arsenal, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v FC Porto, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v BATE Borisov, Camp Nou 21:45
Olympiakos v Dinamo Zagreb, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium 21:45
KAA Gent v Valencia CF, Ghelamco Arena 21:45
Roma v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Olimpico 21:45
Lyon v Zenit St Petersburg, Stade de Gerland 21:45
Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv, Stamford Bridge 21:45
24 November 2015
BATE Borisov v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borisov Arena 19:00
Zenit St Petersburg v Valencia CF, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
FC Bayern Munchen v Olympiakos, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v Chelsea, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v Roma, Camp Nou 21:45
Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb, Emirates Stadium 21:45
FC Porto v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Lyon v KAA Gent, Stade de Gerland 21:45
25 November 2015
FC Astana v Benfica, Astana Arena 17:00
CSKA Moscow v VfL Wolfsburg, Arena Khimki 19:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Sevilla, Borussia-Park 21:45
Juventus v Manchester City, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v PSV, Old Trafford 21:45
Malmo FF v Paris Saint-Germain, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
Atletico de Madrid v Galatasaray, Vicente Calderon 21:45
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

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

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


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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