Arsenal Continue Unbeaten Start. Montpellier Match Report.

Montpellier 1-2 Arsenal

Another game, and a third consecutive win to ensure our unbeaten start to the season remained intact. But only by the skin of our teeth.  After dominating the first 8 minutes, Vermaelen gave away a penalty after making an unnecessary challenge on Belhanda, who fell to the floor as if struck by lightning needless to say. Despite any queries or doubts over the penalty which could have gone either away and frequently do, it was chipped home comfortably by the falling forward, No.10 Belhanda. This goal out of nowhere appeared to shock Arsenal for the next 5 minutes, and the crowd came to life. But after quickly regaining our composure, Montpellier couldn’t handle the quick, slick passing from the midfield. Short-interchanges, from Diaby, to Cazorla, onto Giroud, who flicked it through to Podolski, one-on-one and there was no stopping him. Back of the net, game back on. 3 goals in his last 3 games for Podolski, pretty good going. Unlike another player we bought, Olivier Giroud. A neat assist was about his only noticeable contribution to the match. He worked hard, but too little endeavour. And in the second half there was no service to him at all, so we can’t blame him from that respect although I feel he should do more to get into the game rather than act as a long ball receptor.

Anyway, 2 minutes later, some more lovely football and a bit of luck, the ball sprang out wide to Jenkinson, who swung it in low for Gervinho to tap in. His 3rd goal in 2 games. A few more opportunities arose throughout the 1st half, but we failed to take them and this could have been to our demise in the second half. Luckily it wasn’t, and sometimes you need a bit of luck.

Montpellier came out in full attack mode, after one would presume receiving a rollocking in the dressing room at Half Time. They had at least 5 clear cut chances I can think of off the top of my head to score, but blazed them all either high or wide, bar one which struck the crossbar, and the other which Mannone did well to hang onto from close range. One thing’s for sure; play like that against City, or any other World-Class team for that matter, then we will be in trouble. The midfield ran out of legs it seemed, and this was noticeable in Diabys challenges, including perhaps a questionable penalty claim, and some of the other players poorer work-rates. I just hope they’ll all recover fully for Sundays game.

Regardless, let’s remain optimistic after what has been a very good start to the season, without getting ahead of ourselves. Unbeaten, best Goal Difference (with least conceded too) in the Premier League, sitting in 3rd place. 1st in Group B of the Champions League after an away game at the French Ligue 1 Champions. Podolski on fire, and a lot of the others playing well and finally making that step up too.

Stay tuned for Wenger’s reaction.

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Montpellier v Arsenal Preview and Team News.

Stadium: Stade de la Mosson
Kick Off: 19:45
Arsenal come into today’s fixture as undefeated so far this season. Montpellier on the other hand have lost 3 of their opening 5 fixtures, and sit in the bottom 5 of Ligue 1. Not continuing the form that got them into the Champions League last year. They most recently lost to Rennes on Friday night, with the manager bitterly blaming the defeat upon this very fixture being on their minds.
With 3 out of a possible 4 clean sheets and the best defensive record in the Premier League, combined with 8 goals in 2 games, Arsenal look set for victory surely? Something would have to go wrong for us to not win. Lets hope the defence holds strong once again; an unchanged back four again might I add.
Let me give you some of the Key Facts and Team News for tonight without boring you:
Arsene Wenger starts the first of his 3 match touchline ban. Steve Bould will hold the fort in the technical area for the first time at this level.
Szczensy is out due to an ankle injury – Mannone takes his place.
Diaby and Giroud return to the starting XI – Chamberlain and Coquelin make way.
Full Team: Mannone – Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs – Arteta – Diaby – Cazorla – Gervinh0 – Podolski – Giroud.
Subs: Shea – Koscielny – Santos – Ramsey – Coquelin – Walcott – Chambelain
Start of our 15th Consecutive season in the Champions League
We are in group B, the other two teams play each other tonight. Olympiacos v Schalke.
Odds look good with an Arsenal win at 7/5 (SkyBet)

Arsenal 6-1 Southampton

After a slow start to the season Arsenal are finally firing with all guns blazing. A dominant display from the Gooners, ending with a well deserved tennis-score victory, albeit helped out by a shoddy Southampton defence.

The first half was played with a high intensity, and the Saints were punished for their poor positioning and inability to win/keep the ball. Gibbs flew down the wing twice and got two low and dangerous crosses in, both resulting in own goals after their defenders were incapable of getting it clear; for goals 1 and 4.

Every goal in fact was stunning in its own way. A wide variety of goals showing our variety of dimensions, something we haven’t always had. Podolski scored a beautiful 25 yard free kick that even a certain Dutchman hadn’t done last season. The last thing he said before taking the kick, according to him, was

Santi, let me shoot this.

as if he knew from the moment it was won, it was his moment.

Arteta once again showed a world class side to his performances, with a cheeky little through ball, perfectly weighted, one which only the best could do. Gervinho was on hand with a curved run to thump it home.

After a moment of madness from Szczensy to make it 4-1 and concede our first goal of the season in a truly disappointing manner, Gervinho returned to the score sheet once again. A goal superbly created by Aaron Ramsey, a mid second half substitute, involving him running round 3 players and pushing it to the far post (which it hit) with the outside of his foot. Deserve a goal, but when luck’s against you, it goes all the way, and the ball rebounded to Gervinho who anticipated well to slot home.

Sixth and last goal from Theo Walcott from the edge of the area, although the defence and keeper were out of position. He took it well. But a muted celebration from the winger-stroke-forward. Perhaps the lesson Wenger wants to teach him is that if he wants to start, he should sign a new contract.

Next up, Montpellier in our first Champions League game. The spotlight is intensely on Giroud, should Wenger give him the go ahead as expected.