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UEFA Champions League
4 December 2012
• Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 23142
E. Herrera 59'
B. Höwedes 56'
Thank you very much for joining us here at Goal.com for our LIVE text commentary on tonight's game. Be sure to keep it with us for all the post-match news and analysis. My name is Tom Webber and it has been a pleasure to guide you through tonight's action. Have a great night.
There was not much to separate the two sides, with the visitors enjoying the better of the first and the French outfit looking more impressive after the restart.
Full time at the Stade de la Mosson and it has finished Montpellier 1-1 Schalke. It is a result that sees the hosts finish bottom of the group whilst the Royal Blues conversely finish top of the pile.
90' + 3'
That is it, it is all over!
90' + 1'
Into additional time in Montpellier and with Arsenal still losing in Greece, Schalke look set to be confirmed as group winners.
HERRERA IS DENIED AGAIN!! Once more his first touch is great, pulling it inside of two defenders, but he fails to put his final effort into the corner. Instead, he aims straight down the middle from Utaka's cross and the keeper gets a hand to it.
THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE WINNER!! Pitau again is the man who creates it with a delecate pass into Herrera. The striker's first touch is decent enough and he rifles a shot with his second, but a slight touch from Hildebrand sends it wide.
Cabella and Belhanda combine excellently on the left and the latter looks to charge past Metzelder and get a cross in. The powerful centre-back manages to match his stride and blocks his attempt at getting the ball in the middle.
Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi
Yellow Card Vitorino Hilton da Silva
A reckless challenge from Hilton as he once more cuts through the back of Pukki with no chance of winning the ball. This time he gets a yellow card, though he has used all his experience well tonight.
Good covering from Howedes as he stops Belhanda from capitalising on a slip from Metzelder by coming across and getting a foot to the ball inside the area. Montpellier may already be eliminated but they are going for their first ever Champions League win.
Holtby swings it in and Pukki is there to get his head on it. He seems to take an age to make his move which allows Hilton to come across and block the effort.
Instant impact from Huntelaar as he wins a free kick on the right-hand corner of the box. What can Schalke make of this?
Belhanda does superbly to shake his marker and cut in field. He slips a pass to Cabella who tries to loft a pass over the top to Herrera. The Argentine fails to time his run well enough though and the pass rolls through to the keeper.
Congre makes a rare move forward from right-back but his cross is not one of the best and is headed straight out. Still, he has done a fairly decent job defensively so we cannot hold that against him!
A nice touch from Draxler looks to feed Pukki with his first touch. However, Kolasinac's pass has a bit too much pace on it and the Montpellier defence are able to get their first.
Olympiakos have taken the lead in Athens! It looks like Schalke fans have no need to worry now. Top spot looks all but secure with 15 minutes remaining.
Hardly the most inspiring substitution from Huub Stevens as he brings Jermaine Jones on in place of Barnetta. That said, the Swiss had hardly been the most exciting player on the pitch this evening. Maybe a player who is more willing to work can influence in the match more.
Estrada shimmies to work himself a bit of space 25 yards from goal but his shot is not on target and Hildebrand does not look worried. The home fans can certainly be pleased with the second-half display of their team up to now.
Maniatis has equalised for Olympiakos against Arsenal in the group's other fixture this evening so once again, a draw is enough for Schalke to progress in pole position.
Belhanda and Utaka come on for Montpellier and the latter almost makes an immediate impact with a burst of pace down the left. He sends a cross into the area that skims the far post and narrowly evades the onrushing Herrera.
Montpellier do not seem to have been affected by that Schalke opener as Cabella goes close twice in quick succession. His first shot from range is held by Hildebrand and after an excellent touch, the keeper smothers his second inside the area.
This time it is Pitau who receives the ball in a dangerous area but he is just a bit too far away from it to bring it under control. He tries to poke it on to Cabella but his pass is intercepted by a Schalke shirt.
Clearly confident from that strike, Herrera plumps for another effort at goal following a decent pass from Pitau. His shot is always bending away from goal though and Hildebrand is never truly threatened.
Goal Emanuel Herrera
GOOAAALL!! Well that did not last for long! Herrera gets his first Champions League goal as, after seeing his initial header from Mounier's cross blocked on the line by Metzelder, he pounces on the rebound to equalise.
That goal could prove vital for the Royal Blues as it means they will win the group regardless of the result in Athens between Olympiakos and Arsenal. Maybe there will not be a need to unleash Huntelaar tonight.
Assist Christoph Metzelder
Goal Benedikt Höwedes
GOOAAL!! What a response from Schalke! Metzelder rises at the back post to nod the ball back across goal where Howedes awaits to convert a diving header with Ligali at the other side of the goal. Montpellier will be wondering how they are behind after that start.
An excellent start to the half for Montpellier continues as Cabella finally gets some space on the edge of the box. He looks to clip a lob into the far corner but Hildebrand reads it, gets underneath it and catches on the goal line.
OFF THE LINE BY UCHIDA!! A piercing pass from Pitau sends Mounier through and he beats the keeper to the ball. It takes a flick off of Hildebrand and Herrera has an open goal to shoot at. Howedes puts a bit of pressure on him and Uchida gets back onto the line to divert the goal-bound effort behind for a corner. Superb defending.
Yanga-Mbiwa puts his goalkeeper under pressure with a fairly weak back pass but, with Howedes chasing down, he gets to the ball first and clears to safety.
Space at the back for Schalke to exploit but Barnetta opts to shoot from distance. He once more scuffs it and sends his attempt wide of the goal.
A signal of intent from the visitors as Draxler picks up the ball on the left. He cuts in field and lashes a right-footed effort towards goal but he slices across it and is nowhere near the target.
Here we go, the second 45 minutes have begun. As it stands, Schalke need a win if they are to end as group winners.
Welcome back! Not long left until the restart and with Arsenal leading Olympiakos 1-0 in the groups other game, you would imagine Huntelaar will be making an appearance shortly.
Half-time at Stade de la Mosson and the score remains 0-0. Schalke have looked the more threatening, even in the absence of Huntelaar, yet goal-scoring opportunities have been limited. Let me know your thoughts and comments in the chat box on the right hand side of the Live Match Centre. Will the Dutchman come on and win it? Or are the Germans destined to finish in second position? Join me again in 15 minutes for the second half.
Just one additional minute to be played.
Cabella is back on but it is still Schalke who remain on top. You would not begrudge the Bundesliga outfit a goal before the break. They have certainly been dominant.
The ball is kicked out of play as Cabella has stayed down after a collision with Kolasinac. It did not look too bad and I would imagine that he can continue.
Montpellier really lacking in coherency up front. There seems to be no focus when the move into the final third, and also no support. They will just want to get to half time at 0-0 and think of how to take hold of this game after the break.
METZELDER!! The veteran centre-back charges forwards from defence and bursts into the area to latch onto a fortuitous pass. Once there, he seems to lose his bearings and after squaring the ball straight into Yanga-Mbiwa he is forced to chase back.
Barnetta and Holtby combine impressively on the right but neither can find enough room to whip in a cross.
More brave goalkeeping from Ligali! Draxler once again proves a real danger on the left as he shows some exquisite flair before sending a cross into the area. The keeper rushes out once more and he beats Marica to it.
That is probably the first bad pass of Holtby's evening. The midfielder charges into space to the left of the area. He floats a cutback onto the penalty spot but there is no team-mate running onto it.
Air shot! Barnetta fails to make a solid contact to get a shot on ball and the hosts break. A cross from the left finds Camara at the back but his touch lacks quality and the defender gets back in to make a touch.
Barnetta fails to make the most of a potentially decent chance for the visitors as he curls in an awful free kick from deep. A Montpellier shirt heads it away and that will provide a little bit more confidence to the hosts' defence.
What a waste! Les Pailladins regain possession 25 yards from goal but Cabella wastes it with a silly effort on goal. He does not have the room in which to generate enough power and Hildebrand has another easy save to make.
Once more Schalke find space down the right but another poor cross is dealt with by Congre. There has been a poor level of delivery in this encounter thus far.
There are huge gaps between the Montpellier front four at the moment and they are looking extremely isolated from one another. Schalke are looking very organised though and are getting numbers back to keep things tight.
WHAT A MISS!! Draxler rolls a pass across the box from the right to find Pukki at the back post. It takes a bad bobble off the pitch and he gets his body shape all wrong, diverting his effort wide of the goal and failing to worry Ligali.
You can almost expect goals when Montpellier are playing. Les Pailladins have managed to find the net 17 times in their last 19 games. However, they have only won six in that time.
Schalke are getting closer and closer! Neustadter sends a brilliant first-time pass inside of Hilton but the Brazilian manages to get a toe on it and send it back to the keeper before Marica can get a touch. It seems like it will not be too long until we get the opening goal.
Holtby has been pulling all the strings for Schalke so far, and doing so effectively. Another neat ball sets Barnetta through behind the defence but he is hunted down by Yanga-Mbiwa who gets back to make a solid challenge.
A rough challenge from Hilton on the half-way line as he clatters through the back of Marica to win a header. I'm sure he just wanted to let the Romanian know it will not be as easy as he made that turn look a few moments ago.
Camara finds some space on the right and wriggles away from Kolasinac to get the cross in. His delivery is poor though and bounces comfortably into the awaiting embrace of Hildebrand.
Estrada is looking very comfortable on the ball this evening, taking his time in possession and looking to pick out the right pass. At the moment he is being let down by a lack of movement up top, though.
Good goalkeeping! Holtby sends a pass along the floor right into the heart of the defence and Marica does well to roll the defender and run onto the end of it. He looks to feed Draxler but Ligali rushes out to smother the ball at the feet of the Schalke man.
Montpellier are looking the more likely to settle on the ball but there is a sense of menace whenever it lands at the feet of a Schalke player. A draw could be enough for them to win the group should Arsenal fail to beat Olympiakos but they will not want to leave anything to chance.
Some decent play on the wing from Montpellier is spoiled a bit by an overly-ambitious ball into the area from Bedimo. He searches out Camara at the top of the box but the winger's header is nowhere near testing Hildebrand.
As predicted we have had a very open start to this game. When either side are getting on the ball they are instantly looking to move it forward and attack. Hopefully it can keep going this way and we will be in for a memorable evening.
What a chance! This time it is Schalke who break from an opposition set piece but Holtby is unable to gather Draxler's long ball up field. Had he brought that under control then the Royal Blues would have had a two-on-one situation on the edge of the box.
Schalke are sitting very deep in these opening stages. When Montpellier have position around the half-way line the visitors are sitting just a few yards in front of their own box. That could offer a lot of space for the front four to exploit.
Holtby wastes a chance from a dead ball as his delivery is intercepted and the hosts immediately counter through Cabella. He feeds Mounier wide on the left but his cross fails to find Herrera and Howedes mops it up with ease.
Herrera gets another chance to get a shot away after Cabella's knock down but he is unable to find the target. The Argentine has failed to replicate his fantastic form for Union Espanola earlier this year since moving to the south of France. Still, a lively start for him tonight.
An early chance for Herrera who sees his effort from the top of the box deflected wide of goal for a corner. Estrada whips it in but the danger is cleared by the Schalke defence and Hildebrand claims the follow-up ball.
We are under way in Montpellier! The hosts, in the traditional blue and orange kit, shoot from right to left. Schalke are in their alternate all-white.
The teams are emerging from the tunnel at Stade de la Mosson and the Champions League anthem rings around the arena. Just a few moments away from kick off now.
The big surprise is that Klass-Jan Huntelaar begins on the bench for the Royal Blues. Cirpian Marica will lead the line with Teemu Pukki attacking from the right, where he proved so clinical at the weekend as he set up a late equaliser against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Subs: Unnerstall, Escudero, Fuchs, Matip, Jones, Obasi, Huntelaar.
Schalke (4-2-3-1): Hildebrand; Uchida, Howedes, Metzelder, Kolasinac; Holtby, Neustadter; Pukki, Barnetta, Draxler; Marica.
Subs: Valette, El Kaoutari, Deplagne, Belhanda, Pitau, Charbonnier, Utaka.
Montpellier (4-2-3-1): Ligali; Congre, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Bedimo; Stambouli, Estrada; Mounier, Cabella, Camara; Herrera.
The teams are in and here they come...
The fate of both teams has already been decided, with Schalke having confirmed their space in the last 16 while Montpellier's debut Champions League season has ended with an early elimination. Yet this will give the sides plenty of freedom tonight so we can expect an open and exciting game.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE text commentary on tonight's Champions League clash between Montpellier and Schalke. My name is Tom Webber and I have been giving the pleasure of guiding you through the action.
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