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[Player Ratings] Montpellier 1-2 Arsenal: Gibbs & Arteta Shine
The hosts went ahead when Vermaelen was adjudged to have fouled Belhanda just inside the area. The tricky attacker picked himself up and cheekily put Monpellier ahead from the spot.
We came storming back and levelled with a lovely team goal finished off by Podolski before Gervinho tapped home from a Jenkinson cross minutes later.
We were very good for the last 30 minutes of the first half but apart from that we were below par. Monpellier probably deserved a draw from the game and were by far the better side in the second half, when many of the Gunners players looked knackered.
But we came away with the three points and that makes for an excellent start to the group phase of the champions league. Here’s my player ratings from the game:
Mannone – 6.5 – Did little wrong. Beaten by a cheeky panenka penalty kick but dealt well with anything else that was thrown at him. Kicking was a little below par though.
Jenkinson – 7 – Got caught out of position a couple of times but was full of running and his excellent cross set up Gervinho for the winner. growing with every game.
Vermaelen – 6.5 – While there are doubts over whether it was inside the box or not, his early challenge on Belhanda was a little rash and unnecessary. Apart from that he was solid.
Mertesacker – 7 – Almost gifted Montpellier an equaliser when he jumped in an failed to cut out a late ball, but Belhanda let him off by firing straight at Mannone. But Per made several important blocks and won everything in the air.
Gibbs – 7.5 – Excellent. Was full of energy and got up and down the left side all night. Positional play is getting better with every game. One of Arsenal’s best players.
Arteta – 7.5 – Superb in the first half as he dictated play. His contribution is still under-rated for me. He’s vital in making us tick. Pushed Gibbs for MOTM.
Diaby – 5 – Poor by his recent high standards. Very sloppy in possession and lost the ball on numerous occasions, most notably when he dallied in the area and let in Cabella who should have done better. Booked early on and could have been sent off for a clumsy late tackle, and also lucky not to give away a late penalty.
Cazorla – 7 – Very good in the first half when he was finding space in between the lines but faded in the second half.
Podolski – 7 – Another ice cool finish from the German. He is going to score plenty of goals for Arsenal. No Doubt. But his work rate is extraordinary for such an attack minded player, he helped Gibbs out all night.
Gervinho – 7 – Another goal for the Ivorian. He made some intelligent runs and worked hard as usual.
Giroud – 6 – It’s just not happening for the big man. Another below par performance and he only really had one sniff of goal, firing wide with a tricky left footed effort. You can’t fault his effort, he works hard, wins some headers, but is clearly lacking confidence and just needs the ball to fall to him for a tap-in. He did grab a nice assist for Podolski’s goal though. Subbed.
Ramsey – 6 – On to tighten things up for the last 15 minutes and did his bet as Arsenal held on.
Coquelin/Walcott – Only on for 2 minutes.
You can watch all the goals from the game by clicking here. What were your ratings from the match? Get involved in the comments section.
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