Arsenal win ugly in Montpellier | Podolski finding his flow | Gervinho scoring ugly

by & filed under Match report.

Away match Champions League football has always been a painful experience for Arsenal fans. It took us years to fully master it, so when we beat the French Champions 1-2 at a hostile ground, you’re not going to get too many complaints from me. The only given in the Champions League is you beat everyone at home. Each point outside a draw away is a bonus. We weren’t at our best for large patches last night, but we showed a determined attitude to fight back from a goal down and hold out for the win.

The game started off quite badly, Diaby picked up a booking after 22 seconds which was pretty daft. The tackle was a bit reckless, and though he came out with the ball… this is European football. Any hint of a raised stud is going to end in a coloured card.

Things took an even worse turn 8 minutes later when Thomas Vermaelen was ushering Belhanda away from the box. For some inexplicable reason, he felt the need to go for the complicated slide tackle, he took the player before the ball and the ref rightly blew for the penalty kick. Very sloppy defending from our captain especially as Belhanda wasn’t through on goal.

The Montpellier star man stepped up for the penalty and chipped it down the middle. I hate those penalties. When strikers do that in Sunday league, even when they’re on your team… you just think… ‘c*ck’. I thought the same last night. Apologies for being so crude before breakfast.

This goal sparked Arsenal into life. It didn’t take long for us to find our flow. Diaby fed a ball into Giroud, he laid it into the path of Podolski… the German took it in his stride and slotted it past the keeper. A super finish from a man finding his feet in top class football.

The goals weren’t finished though. No sooner had the game restarted, we’d scored again. This time Jenkisnson picked the ball outwide, slipped in a perfect low cross which Gervinho bundled past the keeper. The Ivorian doesn’t do artsy… but he seems to have found a way of putting the ball in the net so far this season which is a big positive for us.

The second half was a different story. Montpellier picked up on the positive vibes of the crowd and really controlled the game. It wasn’t pretty football at times and we were dominated for large parts. What did make me happy was always having two midfielders sitting in front of the back four. So many times last season this wouldn’t happen. Though you don’t like to see your team under pressure, you don’t mind seeing them tested against talented players. Again, I didn’t feel like we’d concede.

There were two talking points. The first came when Diaby put in a very bad challenge in the box that the referee waved away. A very favourable decision. The best chance of the second half fell to Belhanda. Mertesacker lunged in at him in the box 7 yards out, he missed, Belhanda only had to hit it anywhere at the keeper, but he didn’t, he smashed it into Mannone’s hands.

The game fizzled out and we took our first scalp of the competition.

Conclusion

We won ugly, we defended solidly and we came away with the desired outcome. I don’t think much more needs to be said about it. The big game is this Sunday against City. We’ll have both had the same amount of rest, except you’d imagine City probably worked harder against a better team but had to suffer the indignity of a late Madrid goal that defeated them. We’ll have to be far better on Sunday. We’ll have to get some of our Southampton swagger back and we’ll have to create chances. I’m confident we can do something providing we provide the midfield with a defence they can feel confident in.

[twitter-follow screen_name='LeGrove' show_count='yes']

352 Responses to “Arsenal win ugly in Montpellier | Podolski finding his flow | Gervinho scoring ugly”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. SDE

    Kripakur Marur

    I always said,along with Gambon,Gunner2301 & a few others that FFP was a fallacy..

    Trying to implement that,would be like Israel & Palestine agreeing to a two-state nation& Palestine having their wish for East Jerusalem as their Capital granted..Just not going to happen at this time in point..

    A dream,but an unlikely dream in the current climate..

    This is the stick that Arsene & IG used for many a time,to beat over the heads of many deluded fans,as a reason for not spending..

    A rather convenient smokescreen..

    Even if it was implemented,loopholes would be be unearthed to circumvent the laws..

    Failing that,lawyers from the big clubs would be drafted in to challenge the implementation under EU laws..

    Failing that, a threat& possible introduction of a breakaway European Super League featuring the top clubs from around Europe..

    It’s high time,fans across the board woke up& start voting with their feet & their wallets..

    They really don’t underestimate the power at their disposal..

    PS
    I wonder what this fair test set by UEFA constitutes?

    If the FA’s fitness& proper test -for vetting prospective owners of clubs is anything to go by,then I ‘ll assume UEFA’S fair test,has about as much credibility as Harry “Dodger” Redknapp’s insistence that he can’t read,or write,never used a computer in his life,never taken a bung& his bank account in Switzerland was for his dog-Rosie& he pay’s all his taxes!!

  2. BacaryisGod

    Quite amazing how it seems like we’re doing well with injuries but we still lead the Injury League table with seven injuries.

    The positive side is that of the 7 players out, none should be long-term (except for Chamakh, but is anyone counting him right now anyway?).

    I still worry about Mannone against Man City. He’s done this before with a couple of good games followed by a nightmare, so it’s a massive risk against a wounded time with something to prove.

    I was worried how tired our midfield looked against Montpellier. It seems to me that Arsene is hoping to ride out Cazorla, Arteta and Diaby until JW and Rosicky come back but that’s a pretty risky strategy. Losing Cazorla for an extended period of time would be curtains based on how influential he’s already become.

    Having said that, there’s four full days of rest ahead of Sunday’s game and then we can rest some of our main guys for the Coventry game in midweek before Chelsea the following Saturday. The win over Montpellier should allow us to partially rotate for Olympiakos on Oct 3rd, and Oct 6th is when Rosicky, WIlshere and Sagna are all scheduled to return.

    As always, it feels like we’re trying to thread the needle, but in many ways the same applies to Man City with Kompany, Toure etc all having played heavy minutes so far this season.

  3. Capelgooner

    Walked into the office the morning to a barrage from a united fan (a cockney might I add) telling me how lucky we were and how much we struggled.

    Now not stating the obvious but isn’t winning like that something United keep doing?! I swear they have the most fickle fans in the Prem….

  4. SDE

    geekpie
    Yep back from Paris..Flew on a private jet in fact..
    What was more enjoyable,was the fact that your wife/girlfriend accompanied me on the flight by private invitation of course..

    & guess what..We both became members of the mile high club!!!

    Great experience..!!

  5. Royal Bludger

    SDE – glad you can solve the Israel problem – but East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine is absolutely going to fucking happen whether you like it or not.

  6. SDE

    Royal Bludger

    Good to hear you’re alive& well..

    Not to be too pedantic,but I diid mention not at this point in time!!

    I never said it wouldn’t..Check back if you disagree!!

    Big difference..b/w not @ this point in time & never going to happen!!
    Don’t you agree?

  7. Royal Bludger

    SDE – yes I get the difference … it’s still a strange metaphor to use on a football blog – and defeatist. Anyway, welcome back.

  8. Draper-Corleone

    I think Montpellier adopted an interesting tactics yesterday. Apart from high energy pressing through both halves (though much better in second) they specially pressed Cazorla pretty hard. Every time the ball was directed to him, he was pressed even before he took control, which is key ‘coz once a player of his class has the ball under control, he can get past one or two players even if they press.

    In so far as Arsenal’s creative play currently revolves around Cazorla, the rhythm was broken and play disjointed.

    Expect to see more teams do this. Many would have realised they can’t afford to give this little fella time on the ball or he will pick them apart.

  9. Wengers Plastic Water Bottle

    Draper-Corleone

    I expect all the top teams to adopt this tatic against us. Someone will try and take him out.

  10. Radio Raheem

    Kwik

    Juat seen that and messi is going to win it for them.
    Good to see Juve back. They’ve got a better squad than the chavs. Roberto sacked by January??

  11. kwik fit

    Radio

    Chelsea have spent a fortune but I think their squad is weaker than last year. The players bought in are flair players but their is a weakness in centre mid and Torres is just not up to it. They must have used up all thier luck for about 10 years with that CL run last year. Jammy b#stards.

  12. BERMY BOY

    I don’t see the use in presenting a team with players we dont/wont have it’s like stroking your self to a playboy magazine.If Wenger didn’t buy last transfer he isn’t buying January.One more thing your all aware of,if the team is functioning fine he believes himself justified in his decision not to spend,remember we still have Ros,Jack,Sanga and Kos on standby.

  13. Dan Ahern

    kwik fit –
    “Galatasary Fans booing RVP.
    It’s an unwritten rule the world over that you never publicly force a move to your biggest rivals it seems.”

    Right on. Not a respectable choice.

    Anybody know how United fans feel about it? Guiltily pleased? Or just smug?

  14. marcus

    From what I saw, Song gave away freekicks with his usual lazy defending, got himself booked and failed to clear the ball which put Dani Alves in an awkward position and resulting in a o.g. from him.

  15. Harry Redknapp

    the best thing is i know a united fan who used to call van persie allsorts of names, and often simply ‘the rapist’. now the same guy has a 4 year old son with a van persie shirt, their a low bunch with no shame @dan ahern

  16. ethan_gunner

    FUCK RVP !
    asshole :)

    MAN , WE ARE A SELLING CLUB !
    cesc – nasri – glichy – rvp AND A LIST
    THAT FAR EXCEEDS THAT……
    STRETCHING BACK 8 YEARS !

    I S’POSE NEXT TO GO IS THEO !

  17. ethan_gunner

    HARRY

    I SUPPOSE SHAME CAN BE WAVED , WHEN YOU WIN THE LEAGUE
    JUST ABOUT EVEN 2ND TIME YOU TRY ..

    OVER A 20 YEAR PERIOD :)

    STILL MAKES THEM CNUTS HOWEVER :)
    SHAMELESS WINNING CNUTS !

  18. sam

    i don’t wish robin van persie to get injured i just want him to flop.
    at least come out empty handed at the end of the season and arsenal finish above man utd or even win a trophy.
    then mancs turns on him and fergie makes him the new berbatov.

  19. SUGA3

    morning Grovers, returned to the UK yesterday, thank fuck it was sunny, now it’s 11 degrees outside and I’ve turned the heating on ;)

    watched the game waiting for transfer to the airport, we were lucky as fuck in the second half, but it’s a job done, so no complaints from me! long it may continue and I hope AW will get the playing and resting players in the group stages right this time around…

    I am very happy with the way Poldi is playing, and with Bouldy’s influence on the defensive side of the team, it’s still work in progress, but Wenger is not fooling anybody here!

    the weekend game against Citeh will be interesting to watch, they will be out to prove a point, so we must be at our brilliant best to get something out of it…