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Arsenal picked up an excellent 2-1 win away to Montpellier on Tuesday to kick-off their UEFA Champions League sojourn with three points, built on the back of yet another excellent defensive display. Montpellier scored first, breaking the deadlock in the 11th minute from the penalty spot with Younes Belhanda tucking away a penalty he earned courtesy of a tight call that went against the Gunners. Arsenal though were ahead within 7 minutes with Lukas Podolski and Gervinho scoring a goal each to put the English side on top. Though the French Champions dominated much of the contest, they lacked potency in the final third and some woeful finishing proved to be their undoing.
Geoffrey Jourdren: 4/10
The Montpellier stopper did not get a severe examination, but failed to keep out the two genuine threats to his goal.
Garry Bocaly: 4/10
The defender looked rather disciplined but was caught out of position as Arsenal found an equalizer. He spent a lot of time in Arsenal's half in the second period, but his crossing was poor, and his shooting was awful.
Henry Bedimo: 4/10
The central defender appeared most confident in defence but failed to find support from his teammates.
Hilton appeared sluggish and was outrun by Gervinho on several occasions on the night.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: 4/10
The Montpellier skipper tried to rally his defence unsuccessfully and even picked up a yellow card late in the second half.
Jamel Saihi: 3/10
The midfielder failed to make an impact and was largely outplayed by Abou Diaby,
Marco Estrada: 4/10
Estrada was not afraid to take his half-chances and made quite a few long-range attempts to get his team back into the game.
Remy Cabella: 5/10
The midfielder conducted play fairly well and played a key role for Montpellier when they did go forward on a few occasions.
Younes Belhanda: 6/10
The creative midfielder was Montpellier's best player in attack and did well to earn a penalty which he subsequently converted to open the scoring. However, his shooting like most of his teammates failed to find the mark from open play.
Anthony Mounier: 4/10
The French international got into good positions but failed to make the most of his opportunities in front of goal.
Souleymane Camara: 3/10
Camara appeared sluggish and failed to contribute sufficiently to Montpellier's attack.
Emanuel Herrera 78': 3/10
The Argentine forward failed to get into the game
Karim Ait-Fana 67': 3/10
Wasn't really much of an improvement over Mounier
Stambouli 78': 3/10
Stambouli failed to do anything of note during his short cameo appearance
Was outfoxed by Belhanda on the penalty, and was well beaten by a chip from Cabella, but otherwise had a decent game.
Was strong in the air, and marked Camara out of the game. Had one missed tackle late in the game, giving Belhanda a great opportunity to draw Montpellier level. His ability to catch attackers offside was outstanding.
Conceded the early penalty but recovered well to marshal the defence successfully.
Excellent cross for the goal from the young right-back. His distribution though today was a little off colour and was put under severe pressure in the second half.
Was given a real work out early in the second half, did well under pressure.
Booked inside the first 30 seconds, and hence was on the proverbial tight rope right through the contest. Was caught in possession once in his own box, and looked increasingly tired as the game wore on. Showed his lack of match fitness, and could well have conceded a late penalty.
Was his usual crafty self, looking after the back four. Won a lot of free-kicks and that helped break up Montpellier's rhythm in the second half
The playmaker was not at his best in this game, and was well marked almost every time he was on the ball in the Montpellier half. Made a couple of good passes though.
Took his goal well, and worked tirelessly for most of the game. His move into a central position when Giroud was taken off and that put the Gunners under some late pressure as Montpellier got a chance to double up on Gibbs.Â
Won a lot of headers, provided a good assist for Podolski's goal. Didn't have too many clear sights of goal.Â
Took his goal well, but his passing was largely poor, and he gave the ball away too often. Didn't provide Jenkinson with enough cover.
Ramsey 76': 3/10
Needs to learn how to keep the ball in the corner late in games to avoid unnecessary pressure.
Coquelin 90': NA
Was nut-megged late in the game, which allowed Montpellier a strike on goal.
Walcott 90': NA
Barely touched the ball during his short 3 minute stint.
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