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UEFA Champions League
November 21, 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: F. Aydinus
• Attendance: 59760
J. Wilshere 49'
L. Podolski 63'
FULL TIME! That's it, and Arsenal are through to the next round of the Champions League thanks to goals from Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski. An impressive second half from the Gunners sees them through after a disappointing first 45 minutes.
90' + 2'
Herrera tries a long-distance shot, but his low effort goes just wide of the post, and Szczesny looked to have it covered.
90' + 1'
Podolski almost gets the ball through to Gervinho on the right, but it is well cut out by the defence.
Arsenal playing the game out quite easily now, keeping the ball well for the most part.
Mathieu Deplagne takes a thunderous clearance to the face from the left foot of Thomas Vermaelen. He was standing perhaps less than a yard away, and he is absolutely poleaxed.
Yellow Card Mathieu Deplagne
Arteta whips in a free kick from deep on the left, and it looks like it just clips the post after evading everyone in the box.
Podolski finds Giroud in the box and the Frenchman takes it under control with a beautiful touch, but he can't beat Jourden who gets out to make a good block.
As it stands for Arsenal, they are progressing through to the knockout stages with Schalke leading Olympiakos 1-0 in Germany.
The free kick bounces off the wall and up in the air, and Belhanda snatches at an effort inside the box that is blocked before Sagna eventually clears.
Yellow Card Laurent Koscielny
Koscielny lucky to get away with some very indecisive defending. He gets himself into what looks like serious trouble before bringing down Yanga-Mbiwa and earning a booking.
Arsenal are peppering the Montpellier defence with a couple of shots after a corner. Cazorla slices an effort, but Jourden is forced into an awkward save to push it over the bar.
Arsenal are very dominant at the moment, keeping the ball under almost no pressure from the visitors. It hasn't always been easy for them tonight, but they are making it look so at the moment.
A few changes here, including Aaron Ramsey replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been impressive since the break.
Another great move from the Gunners from back to front, and Oxlade-Chamberlain again finds Podolski, who takes the ball down before firing in a half-volley that deflects behind for a corner.
Yellow Card H. Bedimo
Vermaelen brings down Yanga-Mbiwa on the right wing. The free kick is whipped in by Belhanda, and Yanga-Mbiwa just can't get on the end of it at the far post.
Assist Olivier Giroud
Goal Lukas Podolski
What a goal. What a goal! Oxlade-Chamberlain wins it on the right and cuts inside before feeding Podolski. The striker plays a one-two with Giroud, the second pass of which is lofted over the defence, and the German volleys high past Jourden with a strike that Robin van Persie would be envious of.
Without wanting to make it sound like a basketball match, there have been a lot of turn overs in possession here. Neither side really playing that well in a crowded midfield.
Cabella unleashes a shot from distance and Szczesny gathers it in easily. However, the keeper gives it away and there's another shot for the visitors, this one again optimistic and it drifts wide.
Both teams still not really gelling that well. Arsenal are dominating possession, but aren't doing much with it.
Yellow Card Olivier Giroud
That goal has lifted some of the tension in the ground, with the Arsenal fans now in a better voice.
Assist Olivier Giroud
Goal Jack Wilshere
GOAL! Finally the deadlock is broken, and it's Jack Wilshere with his first goal back after his 17-month injury layoff. It's a well-worked move, with Podolski and Vermaelen linking on the left before the defender's cross is nodded down by Giroud, and Wilshere delicately lifts it over Jourden to open the scoring.
Belhanda is down after a foul by Wilshere, but it looks like he'll be fine to carry on.
Montpellier get the second half underway, with no changes for either side.
It's half-time at the Emirates Stadium and it's 0-0. A pretty disappointing 45 minutes in all honesty. Both teams are lacking urgency, and it will need a boost in tempo in the second half if a team is to grab a winner.
Belhanda jinks past the challenge of Wilshere before firing in a decent effort from 30 yards, but it is always rising and Szczesny has it covered as it goes over the bar.
It's still sloppy at the Emirates, with neither side looking like they'll open the scoring before half-time.
Montpellier look long over the top to Charbonnier, but Szczesny is there to claim the ball high on the edge of his box.
Yellow Card Santi Cazorla
The visitors break and are looking ominous, but Cazorla cynically stops the counter by flicking out a leg.
Sagna does really well battling against two players before getting a cross in and winning a corner, but it's disappointing again.
Podolski gets in around the back, but under pressure he cannot wrap his leg around the ball, and the shot flies wide of the near post. Another chance goes begging.
Some nice build-up play on show from both sides, but it is still lacking in the final third. Wilshere dodges a couple of tackles really well, finding Giroud on the wing, but his cross is easily cleared.
Belhanda has a shot on the edge of the box, but it is blocked well by the Arsenal defence.
At the other end, Estrada fires in a, shall we say, ambitious shot from 35 yards that drifts wide.
Chance for Arsenal after Koscielny goes rampaging through the Montpellier midfield. He's dispossessed, but Podolski wins the ball back, skips past a challenge and fires it a few feet wide. Getting closer though.
Arsenal put together a good move, with Podolski making a threatening-looking run inside the full-back, but Giroud's pass is very wayward and goes out for a throw, much to the disappointment of his strike partner.
Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain takes down the ball on the edge of the box following a corner, but his shot is directly at Jourden and it's a simple stop for the keeper.
Giroud takes a shot but it doesn't trouble Jourden, angling some way wide.
Belhanda ducks and weaves but can't find a team-mate to pass it to. At the other end, Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross is headed clear.
Both teams still lacking in any real composure so far, best displayed by Santi Cazorla's 40-yard pass to no-one that drifts out for a goal-kick.
The Gunners come close, but just can't get through the wall of defence on the edge of the Montpellier box, with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski both playing a part in a small game of pinball.
The visitors are playing some nice stuff. Yanga-Mbiwa put in a tidy nutmeg on Sagna that led to a corner for the French side, but it is cleared by the hosts.
Mounier chases a pass through on goal, but Szczesny is out quickly to make a tackle and clear at the second attempt. Gunners living dangerously.
It's gone behind for another corner, taken short, and eventually goes into the box but Laurent Koscielny's header rebounds off the bar! Cazorla takes a whack in the face, and the referee plays on, with Per Mertesacker dancing his way through the defence, but he can't get a shot away.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isolates the left-back and buys a corner off him.
Arsenal look to be attempting to exploit Montpellier's right side of defence, but aren't breaking down any barriers yet.
Wilshere gives the ball away again and Montpellier counter, but it comes to no avail as Younes Belhanda is crowded out. The visitors certainly looking the better side so far.
Danger for Arsenal with a couple of whipped in crosses by the visitors. The first from the right floats over harmlessly enough to the opposite side, but Wojciech Szczesny comes and flaps at the second one. He gets away with it, however.
A slow start to the game, with a couple of sloppy passes from both sides. Jack Wilshere plays a ball a few feet behind Lukas Podolski with the German in space on the wing.
And we're off, with Arsenal getting the game going.
The players are in the tunnel, and we will be underway in a little under five minutes.
And here are the Montpellier team: Jourdren, Bedimo, Yanga-Mbiwa, El Kaoutari, Congré, Estrada, Cabella, Belhanda, Mounier, Deplagne, Charbonnier. Subs: Pionnier, Hilton, Marveaux, Herrera, Pitau, Jeunechamp, Martin.
Here is the Arsenal team news for you tonight. Starting: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Arteta, Podolski, Wilshere, Cazorla, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain. Subs: Mannone, Ramsey, Coquelin, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Gervinho, Gibbs.
Hello, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! coverage of Arsenal's Champions League clash against Montpellier at the Emirates Stadium.
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