Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier: Champions League as It Happened
UEFA Champions League Final Score: Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier, Emirates Stadium
Goals: Wilshere 49', Podolski 64'
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Gibbs, Ramsey, Coquelin, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Gervinho.
Montpellier: Jourden, Bedimo, Congre, El Kaoutari, Deplange, Yanga-Mbiwa, Mounier, Estrada, Cabella, Charbonnier, Belhanda. Subs: Pionnier, Hilton, Marveaux, Pitau, Jeunechamp, Martin, Herrera.
In an absorbing clash at the Emirates, Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners to clinch their place in the next round of the Champions League.
Jack Wilshere's opener was quickly doubled by a rasping Lukas Podoslki volley that drew gasps from the Gunners faithful.
Montpellier fought valiantly to get a foothold in the game, but ultimately lacked enough quality in the final third to do so.
Thanks for joining me and make sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all the reaction to this, and the other group games taking place tonight.
90+3'- The final whistle blows and Arsenal have qualified for the knockout stages of Champions League competition!
90+1'- Mounier goes for goal from 30 yards out, but his shot isn't nearly powerful enough to trouble
Arsenal have gone five games without keeping a clean sheet, but look to have done so tonight.
89'- It seems for a moment that Belhanda has gotten in behind the Arsenal back line, but the linesman's flag is quickly raised.
This game was killed off the moment Lukas Podolski struck his cracker, Montpellier have tried to get back into the game since then, but a lack of quality in the final third has cost them tonight.
87'- Anthony Mounier takes a Vermaelen clearance flush in the face and hits the deck hard. We pause as the winger receives treatment.
84'- Arteta swings in a free kick from deep to the far post but the ball evades everyone and flies harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Cazorla comes off for Coquelin and Giroud is replaced by Gervinho as Arsene Wenger makes his move.
81'- CHANCE ARSENAL!
Olivier Giroud almost gets the goal his enterprising performance deserves when fed through one-on-one by Podolski. He tries to go under the keeper though and the effort is well saved.
79'- Mounier tries to dribble around a packed Gunners back line, but unsurprisingly runs into trouble.
The news from the other group game is that Schalke have taken the lead against Olympiacos. It looks like the German side will join Arsenal as the group's two best-placed teams.
76'- A rare moment of madness for Laurent Koscielny who dawdles on the ball, then trips Yanga-Mbiwa when he steals in.
A yellow card for French defender, and a red face.
74'- Cazorla finds room to shoot on the edge of the box, but his effort is deflected wide.
Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier
73'- Mounier quick-steps past Arteta, but the winger's pass forward to Belhanda is lazy and Mertesacker cuts it out.
Arsenal have had three star performers for me tonight: Koscielny, Cazorla and Giroud. Podolski's goal will dominate the highlights though, and deservedly.
71'- The ball is pumped forward to Giroud, but the striker is yet again in an offside position.
This has been a professional display from the Gunners who are clinically killing off a dangerous Montpellier side.
68'- Podolski finds himself in a similar position to that from which he scored the goal, but this time his volley is well blocked by Congre.
66'- The Emirates Stadium is still abuzz in the wake of that pearler from Podolski. Montpellier have a mountain to climb now, but still plenty of work to do for the Gunners to safely see out this one.
Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier
64'- GOAL ARSENAL!
Stunning, stunning goal from Lukas Podolski who plays a one-two with Giroud before firing a rasping volley past Jourden.
Majestic strike from the German who, if I'm allowed to say, somewhat resembled Robin van Persie with his technique and power.
63'- Cabella dribbles into the Arsenal area from the right flank before passing inside to Yanga-Mbiwa. The defender's toe poke shot is blocked by Koscielny though.
Here's an image of Wilshere's deft flick to give Arsenal the lead.
60'- Another frustrating offside call goes against Arsenal as this time it's Olivier Giroud straying a little too far up the pitch.
The Gunners are playing with a real spring in their step now as they look for a second.
58'- Wilshere feeds the ball out wide to Cazorla who then looks to quickly release Podolski. But the German is a fraction offside once again, and a promising move breaks down.
56'- Arsenal now look to keep possession for an extended spell as they seek to claim a crucial victory.
It's still 0-0 in Germany as Schalke take on Olympiacos. Better and better for Gunners fans.
54'- Olivier Giroud has picked up a yellow card for a flailing arm. He joins Santi Cazorla in the book.
Arsenal 1-0 Montpellier
51'- Montpellier look a little shell-shocked in the wake of that goal. You can't say it's been coming, but I'm sure Arsenal will take it.
Olivier Giroud was majestic in his nod down to Wilshere in the build up to the goal. A real centre forward's assist.
49'- GOAL ARSENAL!
It's Jack Wilshere who opens the scoring in deft fashion. Vermaelen swings in a cross that Olivier Giroud nods down into the path of Wilshere, who only has to knock it past Jourden to give his side the lead.
48'- Yanga-Mbiwa gives the ball away and Jack Wilshere looks to break. A swarm of bodies bring the young Englishman down though and the ref's whistle blows immediately.
Montpellier have been quite physical in the middle of the park tonight, putting a great deal of pressure on the likes of Wilshere and Cazorla.
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