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

What To Read Next

 

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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
27 September 2016
CSKA Moscow v Tottenham Hotspur, Arena CSKA 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Legia Warsaw, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Leicester City v FC Porto, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Juventus, Maksimir 20:45
FC København v Club Brugge, Parken Stadion 20:45
Sevilla v Lyon, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 20:45
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, Signal Iduna Park 20:45
Monaco v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Stade Louis II 20:45
28 September 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Barcelona, Borussia-Park 20:45
Celtic v Manchester City, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v FC Basel, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v PSV, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Napoli v Benfica, San Paolo 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Paris Saint-Germain, Vasil Levski National Stadium 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Bayern München, Vicente Calderon 20:45
Besiktas v Dynamo Kyiv, Vodafone Arena 20:45
18 October 2016
CSKA Moscow v Monaco, Arena CSKA 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Tottenham Hotspur, BayArena 20:45
Sporting Lisbon v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Jose Alvalade 20:45
Club Brugge v FC Porto, Jan Breydelstadion 20:45
Leicester City v FC København, King Power Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Sevilla, Maksimir 20:45
Lyon v Juventus, Parc OL 20:45
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
19 October 2016
FC Bayern München v PSV, Allianz Arena 20:45
Barcelona v Manchester City, Camp Nou 20:45
Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic Park 20:45
Arsenal v Ludogorets Razgrad, Emirates Stadium 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Benfica, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
FC Rostov v Atlético de Madrid, Olimp-2 Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Basel, Parc des Princes 20:45
Napoli v Besiktas, San Paolo 20:45
01 November 2016
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 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

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

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

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

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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