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Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 victory over Montpellier at the Emirates, confirming the Gunners' place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Although Olivier Giroud failed to find the net against his former club, he was the star of Arsenal's victory as he assisted on both goals the Gunners scored with Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski getting on the scoresheet.
After a dull first half where both sides struggled to make an impression, Arsenal stepped up their game in the second half with Wilshere scoring the opener on 49 minutes with a chip over Jourdren, after Giroud did well to nod down Vermaelen's cross from the left wing. Podolski bagged a second for Arsenal at 73 minutes after a wonderfully executed one-two with Giroud that left the German free to slam in a volley from 12 yards.
The Gunners are assured a place among the final 16 of this seasonâ€™s Champions League after Schalke dashed Olympiacosâ€™ hopes of qualification with a 1-0 victory over the Greek side. Arsene Wenger will now look forward to reviving Arsenalâ€™s shaky league campaign before the Gunners are tasked with the chase for European glory. (Read the full match report)
Wojciech Szczesny: 5/10
The Arsenal stopper was largely untroubled on the night as the Gunnersâ€™ defence dealt with Montpellierâ€™s ineffective attacks.
Bacary Sagna: 6/10
The Frenchman combined well with Oxlade-Chamberlain in attack and put in a strong defensive performance at right-back.
Per Mertesacker: 8/10
The towering German was a strong barrier in Arsenalâ€™s defence and played a key role to end Montpellierâ€™s attacks on several occasions.
Laurent Koscielny: 7/10
The centre-back made frequent dashing runs through the midfield and even made a strong defensive impact on the game. He also came close to opening the scoring when his powerful header smashed off the woodwork in the first half.
Thomas Vermaelen: 7/10
The Arsenal skipper played a convincing left-back role and even supplied Giroud with the cross that resulted in Wilshereâ€™s goal.
Mikel Arteta: 6/10
The midfielder was not at his usual best as he often squandered possession in midfield.
Jack Wilshere: 7/10
The young Englishman has almost regained his peak form after returning from injury as he dominated the midfield and even scored the crucial opening goal with a chip over Jourdren. His initial passing though was poor, giving poor Lukas a bit of a headache on the left.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 7/10
The winger constantly made strong runs down the right flank on the evening and even played a key role in carving out Arsenalâ€™s second goal with a mazy run past Montpellierâ€™s midfield that left Giroud and Podolski free to wrap up the game.
Santi Cazorla: 6/10
The Spaniard was tightly marked right through the game, and was also continuously on the receiving end of some cheap fouls. He could not make his usual impact on the game, but did have some nice touches.
Olivier Giroud: 9/10
The former Montpellier man could not find the net but played a key role on the night, assisting both Arsenal goals.
Lukas Podolski: 7/10
The German had misfired for most of the night but redeemed himself with his powerful volleyed goal to clinch Arsenalâ€™s second on the night.
Aaron Ramsey: 5/10
The midfielder barely affected the game despite being given 20 minutes on the field.
Francis Coquelin: -NA-
He replaced Cazorla with 6 minutes left on the clock and had little to do as Arsenal continued their attacking runs.
The Ivorian was impressive in his short spell as he held the ball well to contribute to Arsenalâ€™s attack after replacing Giroud with 6 minutes to go.
Geoffrey Jourdren: 5/10
The Montpellier stopper had been fairly reliable on the night although he could do nothing about either of Arsenalâ€™s goals, with the defensive line often leaving him in danger.
Mathieu Deplagne: 4/10
The right-back delivered fairly well in the first half but was beaten by Podolski for Arsenalâ€™s second goal.
Daniel Congre: 3/10
The centre-back struggled to deal with Arsenalâ€™s persistent attacks, often being caught out of possession.
Abdelhamid El Kaoutari: 4/10
The central defender could not assert his dominance as Arsenal tirelessly looked to cut open the defence to take a shot at goal.
Henry Bedimo: 3/10
The left defender tried to supplement with attacks although Oxlade-Chamberlain frequently exploited his forward runs to get down the right wing.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa: 3/10
The skipper was ineffective in his defensive midfield role and often lost the ball in dangerous areas although Arsenal were unable to pounce upon his errors.
Marco Estrada: 3/10
The midfielder held the ball rather well although he failed to find the final passes to release Montpellierâ€™s attackers behind Arsenalâ€™s defence.
Remy Cabella: 3/10
The midfielder made a confident impact when attacking down the right flank and often threatened Arsenalâ€™s defence with his crosses into the box.
Younes Belhanda: 3/10
Montpellierâ€™s top scorer put in a rather average performance as he struggled to control midfield play.
Anthony Mounier: 2/10
The forward failed to get into good positions, making a minimal impact on the game.
Gaetan Charbonnier: 2/10
The striker delivered a sub-par performance as Montpellier struggled to find the back of the net.
Jonas Martin: 3/10
The midfielderâ€™s introduction with 20 minutes to go could not improve Montpellierâ€™s dismal attacking on the night.
Emanuel Herrera: 3/10
The striker replaced Cabella with 20 minutes to go but could not alter the result for Montpellier.
Joris Marveaux: 3/10
The midfielder could do little in his 11 minute appearance for the French champions with Arsenal already two goals to the better.
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