Here’s how we lined up, with substitutions included:
Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Arteta, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 69), Cazorla ((Coquelin 84), Podolski; Giroud (Gervinho 84). Booked: Cazorla, Giroud, Koscielny. Goals: Wilshere 49, Podolski 63.
We started off sloppily. But we still have one game left. We need to finish top.
The first half was hard. We gave the ball away and weren’t ourselves so needed to come and get an early goal after the break. We have to step it up. That just wasn’t good enough, especially in the opening period.
Those are the words of Jack Wilshere after the game.
During that opening 45 minutes, watching on, anyone would think that we had qualified already and we’d send the reserve reserves out we were so off the pace. Passes were going everywhere but to a team-mate and any shot towards goal seemed more likely to hit the corner flag than the target.
As much as we controlled the midfield in the first half, we created just three chances, the best coming from Laurent Koscielny, whose header hit the bar.
So let’s just forget it shall we and fast forward to the interval.
0-0 at half time and it was clear to see the worried look on Arsene Wenger’s face. What would he say at half time, what could he say to inspire the team to victory?
Goodness knows is my answer but whatever he did say, worked!
Two moments of magic killed the game off, the first was finished by a wonderful touch from Jack Wilshere for his first goal since 2010 and the second was a thunderbolt volley reminiscent of another footballer whose name escapes me right now!
Our first came soon into the second half, Podolski played the ball to Vermaelen on the left, he fired in a cross with his right foot which looked to be far too high but Giroud jumped, headed the ball down and there was Jack to chip the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.
In celebration, Wilshere ran off to find club physio Declan Lynch and gave him a big ‘thank you’ hug for helping him throughout his long return to fitness.
Around fifteen minutes later, Podolski put the game to bed and it was quite safe to believe that, even with only a two goal lead as Montpellier really were awful. They had nothing to play for but pride and it seemed as if they weren’t fussed with that either.
Podolski’s strike was simply stunning, having played the ball into the feet of Giroud, he carried on into the penalty area. Giroud flicked the ball into the Germans path and our number nine fired home a thunderbolt volley. Had the goalkeeper tried to stop it, I am sure he would have broken his wrists.
After the game, Sky Sports showed a clip of Wilshere’s play in the second half and he was simply on fire, he was here, there and everywhere. When this little fella is back to full fitness he’ll be playing ninety minutes like he did forty-five last night and what a joy that will be.
Montpellier didn’t offer a lot but to be fair, we didn’t let them and getting a clean sheet after ninety minutes is another huge confidence boost. Especially for the defence..
If the French side can get a victory against Schalke and we win, then we will top the group and Wenger has hinted that’ll he will be out to beat Olympiacos…..
If we do, that’ll be a first I believe? I certainly hope we get a better set of officials in Greece, those who turned up at The Emirates last night were shocking. Offsides given when they clearly weren’t, naughty tackles that were allowed to pass and we should have had a free kick on the edge of the penalty area but the fool in yellow allowed advantage when really there wasn’t. Thankfully, it didn’t have an impact on the result.
Aston Villa up next and their manager, Paul Lambert has been fined by the FA, he’s also been given a touch-line ban so he’ll be up in the stands on Saturday.
Another bit of news in Francis Coquelin says he will look to leave in January if he’s not played more.
Well best he pack his bags then, how many times have we heard this from the 21 year old?
That’s about it really, a good night all round, it will get even better once we start to play well for ninety minutes and not just forty-five…
Have a good day all…..