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[Player Ratings] Montpellier 1-2 Arsenal: Gibbs & Arteta Shine

Arsenal got their champions league campaign underway with a hard fought 2-1 victory away at French side Montpellier. Here’s my player ratings from the game:

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal got their champions league campaign underway with a hard fought 2-1 victory away at Montpellier.

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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  1. Alejolwo

    September 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    A good start in the group

    • God

      September 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

      very harsh on diaby. wasn’t that bad even with that silly dribble, played well as a defensive mid in the second period, and had an amazing run to set up santi. Earlier subs when our players just played please steve.

      • mark

        September 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        absolutely right. just played, and will play man city. and i think the players looked tired in the second half. montpellier were finding it easy to get their chances.
        mancini managed his squad well. not that that is too hard.

  2. meaner

    September 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Giroud deserve more for that nice assist.

    I am not surprised how Diaby performed today. He WILL NOT be consistant. As usual, he did some unnessessary possession in our penalty box, trying to be clever, brainless act. Nearly let our opponent scored out of nothing. Diaby should get a 3.

    • Dilan

      September 19, 2012 at 1:36 am

      Diaby was not bad at all what game were you watching he slipped once and gave the ball away, which I admit was his mistake apart from that his our best midfielder in terms of talent, (Cazorla is up there as well) but Diaby is something else.

      • Mike

        September 19, 2012 at 2:18 am

        What game were YOU watching? Diaby was the worst in the Arsenal side tonight. Holding the ball too long in dangerous positions and passing directly to the other team. He has been inconsistent all his career (when actually playing) and rarely playing the last 2 seasons has not corrected that.

        • bennie

          September 19, 2012 at 6:23 am

          I think some fans just hate some players. Diaby was by far one of the best players on the field. He was more defensive than attack-minded..probablt because we had a manager whose sole concern is defending. I’m sorry, but personally I wouldnt even think of him as an arsenal manager. Didn’t know when to make subs. Generally were lucky to escape with 3points. I’m really worried that he still has more CL games on the sidelines..without Arsene.

      • Bimbo

        September 19, 2012 at 6:33 am

        Diaby was simply the worst Arsenal player of the night, by miles
        Can’t wait for Wilshere to come back
        Arteta got the job done

        • bennie

          September 19, 2012 at 6:42 am

          I wonder if some fans really watch games and analyse them properly. He had an odd mistake in the box…and u r capitalizing on it to draw ur conclusions of his entire display…coz generally, u dont like him. Wilshire wont get him benched if he’s fit. Think again!

  3. richard

    September 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Isaid after the pool game that diaby is not aconsistent performer he will win my hearts after putting in 5consistent displays dribling in our own box when marked is for some one learning football bt not aproffesional baller

    • Gunnernate

      September 19, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Same goes for you!!

      • bennie

        September 19, 2012 at 6:25 am

        he just hates him!

  4. Sagir

    September 19, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Yah I agree, Diaby was sloppy. He almost gave Xmas gift during Easter.

    • Gunnernate

      September 19, 2012 at 12:39 am

      Read above!

  5. Ezekiel Inyang

    September 19, 2012 at 12:33 am

    What matters now is Montepellier 1-2 Arsenal , Up Gunners…

  6. merkin

    September 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

    One good half was enough. Montpellier certainly deserved better, at least a draw. This is what you have to do to win silverware, you have to win ugly, win when you are playing below par, win hanging on by your fingernails.

    As far as it goes with Diaby, he will not become consistent by sitting on the bench, he has to play. It is just a question of how quickly he can learn. We have a lot of competition for his position. The longer he takes the easier it will be to give his slot to someone else.

    I wish Wenger had rested some players. They all looked tired in that second half. We have to start sitting people down to rest.

    • mark

      September 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      i dont think diaby will ever be a rock like a wilshere or arteta. he doesnt have discipline and is too cocky. he could be like Yaya Toure, but the difference is Yaya is a warrior who never gets complacent.

  7. DocBrody

    September 19, 2012 at 1:07 am

    I think Diaby was quite good many times throughout the game. Excellent in fact. But yes, let’s please not see him muck around in our own box again.

    Jenkinsen had some terrible moments, but they were really applying the pressure. Pouncing on him the instant he got possession. Once he settled down though, it turned out to be Montpeliers undoing… they should have treated him with a bit more respect and perhaps they wouldn’t have been caught out.

    • bennie

      September 19, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Spot on!

  8. Dilan

    September 19, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Jenkinsons is starting to become a great full back give him 2 more years and he’ll be better than Sagna (who is currently the best RB in the EPL). Wenger paid 1mil for him from Charlton! he knows talent when he see’s it. I was worried why he didnt buy a right back when Sagna was injured now i know why his starting to be polished into a gun. We looked dis jointed today but hey like I said it will take this team 2 months to fully understand each other its a whole new team this year and I believe if were up there in Jan we’ll definately win the league.

  9. JOSY

    September 19, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Gud result 4 gunners d gud news is that arsenal are in gud shape thanks 2 podinho who now takes responsibilities.

  10. Zaidovski

    September 19, 2012 at 3:38 am

    The kids who wrote these blogs and give these ratings have no idea about football !
    It’s amazing arsenal have so many twats.

    Diaby given less marks than Ramsy?

    On what planet do you come from?

  11. bennie

    September 19, 2012 at 7:01 am

    What every Diaby hater forgets is that…he was responsible at least70% creation of our 1st goal. He created the best goal-scoring opportunity in the second half with a good run to Carzola. Every hater says he was crap..because of the odd slip he had in our box.

    For me, overall, he was one of our best players. The problem in the second half was that..we had a manager who was clueless on what to do. Just obsessed with defending.

    The moment we took the lead in the 1st half,..the second, his goal was to protect the lead. Arsenal hardly excel at that. Next time we wont be lucky. He didnt know when to make substitutes to change the game. He frustrated me really.

  12. uboh nsikan

    September 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

    arsenal will suprise the whole world all praise to all the player for thier hard fight for the 3points gunners for life

  13. donwest

    September 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

    arsenal played a decent game against there opponent montpellier, is obvious that u rated daiby low,i tink daiby waz our main man in that match especialy wit hz creative runz,so i tink he deserve 7.arteta waz miraculous;he knws when 2 attack he waz an instrumental in dat game.he remind me of alonso wen he waz in liverpol,bt yet 2 register a goal,giroud waz briliant in d air bt stil need tym 2 adapt… al we playd wel

  14. Jan

    September 19, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I agree with the ratings.

    Diaby should have been substituted for Ramsey early in the second. He simply gave the ball away to many times by trying to find the hardest solution just when the team needed the opposite and keep the ball to calm things down. I charish his good game at Anfield like everybody else, but he is not a clever tactical player like eg. Arteta and he should not have monopoly as a central midfielder in this gifted team. Santi ran out of gas in the second half too and should have been substituted for the Ox. Finally Giroud should have been replaced by Theo to make us look more dangerous on the counter. When a team look as jaded as we did in the last 45 mins you should make some changes, should you not?

    I know this is a bit football manageresque and who really cares when we won – by two great goals – in the end 🙂

    • bennie

      September 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Early in d second half for Diaby? What did Ramsey do when he got on? He is one of the most clueless players. He doesnt know how to use his abilities.

  15. dave

    September 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Diaby was immense last night I think we have some spurs fans on here!!! my rating is 7.5 for him. Everybody clamoring for Wilshere like bimbo will be the first to hate on him when he has a bad game or two as he’s been out for over a year get real guys


    September 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    got the points but looked very squad size will tell.

    • bennie

      September 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Bould is so raw even to be considered an arsenal manager in the near future. Everyone including the blind saw that some legs were tired..except him! He kept us defending, defending defending. We only survived losing d points purely on luck

  17. Unknown

    September 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

    When will rosisky recover fully-Rosisky/carzola/arterta will really make sense

  18. Mrteabag

    September 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I would like to see Thomas Eisfeld

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