Arsenal vs Montpellier: Score, Highlights and Grades

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent ISeptember 18, 2012

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Abou Diaby of Arsenal congratulates Lukas Podolski of Arsenal celebrates scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Champions League match between Montpellier Herault SC and Arsenal at Stade de la Mosson on September 18, 2012 in Montpellier, France.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal stole three points on away soil in its first Champions League match of the season by taking down Montpellier 2-1 at Stade de la Mosson on Tuesday. 

This match got off to a fast start before settling into a defensive struggle. 

Montpellier's Younés Belhanda opened up scoring with a successful penalty in the ninth minute, but the Gunners were quick to have an answer. 

In the 16th minute, Lukas Podolski netted the equalizer. Just two minutes later, Gervinho put Arsenal ahead and that was that for the day's scoring. 

While this is a nice win for Arsenal as it moves to the top of Group B, it is not a terrible loss for Montpellier.

It gets the discouraging result of leaving its home pitch with no points, but it did so with a solid performance. While it couldn't score an equalizer in the second half, it earned some good looks with its aggressive play.  

The French side has been struggling this season and had tallied just four points in its first five games. If it plays like it did in the second half of this one, that mark is going to improve quickly. 



Check out the two Arsenal goals.


Arsenal Grades

Lukas Podolski: B+

It was a tale of two halves for Podolski. He was brilliant in the first. He provided a strong finish for the equalizer on a counterattack, and he was constantly pushing forward to keep the pressure on Montpellier. 

He was far quieter in the second half, but in fairness to him, the entire side spent most of the second on the defensive. 


Vito Mannone: A-

Mannone's day got off to a slow start as he allowed the chip penalty. However, he was great from there. 

He had several nice saves in the second, as Montpellier was on the attack. By the time this one was over, the goal he allowed was made a distant memory by the saves he made. 


Montpellier Grades

Rémy Cabella: B

Cabella missed a nice look in the second half high and wide that would have tied this match. There is no doubt that is a shot he would like to have back. 

However, he played excellent in this match. He looked strong with the ball and was just plain unlucky when he had a second-half shot hit the crossbar.


Younes Belhanda: B+

Belhanda scored the game's first goal on a nice chip and continued his strong play throughout the game. 

Like many of his teammates, Belhanda struggled with his finishing, but he was constantly putting himself in great positions. 


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