Emirates stadium, London – Grivin Chipula.
It was an evening that promised an entertaining football with Arsenal featuring a full strong squad to demolish Montpellier, as they were pushing for the knock out stage of the Champions League. The first half kicked off slowly characterised by misplaced passes and lack of coordination by Arsenal. Montpellier played knowing that they had nothing to lose, lacking pace and determination in their attack. Apart from Laurent Koscielny stunning header against the cross bar, it was a poor half with limited chances on both sides and few noteworthy moments.
The second half started on a high note with wonderful runs and passes by Jack Wilshere and Cazorla. The moment of brilliance however came through Jack Wilshere at 48:15 minutes, when he flicked the ball beyond Jourdren to give Arsenal the lead. At 62:24 minutes, Lukas Podolski doubled the score to seal the win and a qualification into the knockout stage with a stunning connection from Olivier Giroud: Giroud nudged the ball to Poldoski who took it in his stride and time his left footed volley to perfection to leave Montpellier's goalkeeper with no chance.
With Schalke beating Olympiakos, Arsenal and Schalke have already qualified into the top 16. Arsene Wenger commented that it was a question of patience before Arsenal would get on the score sheet. His assessment didn't hide the fact that Arsenal underperformed. Jack Wilshere rightly acknowledged that Arsenal will need to improve to make any further impact in the Champions League, once the knock out phase gets underway. The Arsenal midfielder was one of the brigher protagonists on the night, key in transition for Arsenal.
In another result, the champions of England, Manchester city failed to reach the top 16 after drawing one all against Real Madrid at the Etihad.