Arsenal 2 – 0 Montpellier: We’re through…!

It’s been an interesting week in the world of football, that’s for sure. Man City getting knocked out of the Champions League was big news and Chelsea defeat to Juventus yesterday also putting Chelsea on the edge, resulting in the departure of Roberto Di Matteo. It made the evening even more telling – the Champions League is no mug’s game, it’s proper teams versus proper teams. Home games don’t necessarily mean home victories, and we saw that when we played Schalke here last time out.

 

Tonight’s game was very very important, and the team line up saw Oxlade in for Walcott and the likes of Gibbs and Gervinho on the bench:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Koscielny – Mertersacker  Vermaelen (c)

Arteta – Wilshere

Oxlade – Cazorla – Podolski

Giroud

We didn’t quite get going until the second half, but the first half did show us a few things… The back four seems more balanced with the four players in the line up. I’m not sure who will give way for Gibbs on the weekend, all three centre backs (including the captain) showing good form – but I think Mertersacker and Koscielny are the best partnership.
The stand out player today was Wilshere – he was everywhere, and he just brings so much energy to the midfield – he’s an inspiration to the rest of the rest of the team. And it was fitting that he scored the first goal… some excellent play and an excellent header down into Jack’s path followed by a sublime lift over the keeper from the midfielder.
And it was Giroud who was involved again, for an amazing goal. A one-two with Podolski saw the German strike an excellent finish – RvPesque to be honest. I can’t describe it – you have to watch it:
It’s a great goal. I can watch it time and time again. It reminds me of what RvP was doing last season. If Podolski can start reproducing this game in and game out, it will be a really good catapult up the various tables & competitions we’re trying to win!
Arsene spoke after the game and praised Jack:

“He’s getting strong physically. Tonight he got in the box – he’s the complete midfielder you know. I believe he can defend well, attack well and these kinds of matches will give him confidence.”

We’ve got one more game in the league which could make the difference between finishing first or second… but in reality, either position has a certain level of difficulty:

“We will try to finish top of the group. You always feel a bit guilty if you don’t do it. There are groups where you have Dortmund first, Real Madrid second – you don’t really know what is the best. In this competition you just want to get to the next round and win the game. That’s all you can do. Now of course we go into a cup (knock-out) competition which is a little bit different. We have some time and it’s important we go into March with our best team available.”

A great goal from Podolski, a great performance by Jack, a clean sheet, progression to the next round. Happy days for the Arsenal, and time to rest and recuperate for the Villa game…
Til tomorrow…
  • Adrien

    What a goal. Podolski could become our new Van Persie.
    He needs to play in the middle more often – wasted on the left wing!

  • Arsefan101

    Superb goal.

    I hope we can kick on from here, there is quality in this team, it’s just a matter of consistency and hoping we don’t get injuries.

  • limet

    Routine win, as it should have been, against opponents who really didn’t
    give a toss.
    Mind you it didn’t take long for the Arsenal P R and propaganda machine
    to get going.On all the interviews and reports on T V and radio,and even
    by Kev the Ed,we were reminded that we had qualified from the group
    stages for 13 years in a row.Fantastic,brilliant, if you don’t consider
    yourself a big club.But stupidly I believe we are a big enough club to
    be desparately disapointed not to have won the frigging thing by now,so
    this latest clever P R media s**t doesn’t mean a thing.
    What the board/manager don’t realise is that the fans have become
    intolerant to the ‘success’ of fourth place and going out in the last
    sixteen in the Champions League.Nothing but a trophy will stop the
    disheartening feeling of the fans.We have gone pass the stage of
    hope,expectation and anger we now sometimes become almost indifferent.
    But the quickest way to kickstart our way back to winning trophies is to
    win 4 games ,starting with Bradford,in the Capitol One cup.It’s a
    trophy and a lift for the players and the fans,
    for he rest of the season.
    Will Arsene go for it by putting out strong sides in the competition?
    Will he f**k.
    But I’m sure we will be reminded at the end of the season what an
    achievment it is to finish fourth in the Premiership (and that’s not a
    given this year)

  • Stickman

    Mate.

    You are totally forgetting that Chelsea and Man City have paid BUCKS for their squads with their sugar daddies.

    Respect where we are – we are where we are due to the hard work of people driven to make the Arsenal the best club in the world.