Arsenal came from behind to beat Montpellier 2-1 and begin their Champions League campaign with a welcome three points on the road.
Younes Belhanda gave the home side an early lead at the Stade de la Mosson, before goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho saw Arsenal quickly recover. Montpellier had their chances in the second-half, but Arsene Wenger, barred from the touchline, will have been delighted to emerge with a win.
Lukas Podolski celebrates scoring his third goal in as many games to help Arsenal to victory against Montpellier.
Montpellier went into the match after a dreadful opening to the defense of their Ligue 1 title. However, the early stages against Arsenal gave support to a belief that there may have been an undue focus from the squad on their first foray into the Champions League.
Just eight minutes in, Thomas Vermaelen made a rash challenge on Belhanda with the Moroccan midfielder going nowhere on the edge of the box down the right. Though Belhanda tumbled outside the area, the contact was clearly made inside the box giving the referee little option but to point to the spot. Belhanda duly took the honors and produced a delightfully confident "Panenka" penalty to the bemusement of Arsenal's replacement goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
It was not long before Arsenal were back on level terms. Santi Cazorla again showed the creativity that has made him an instant hit with the Gunners faithful as he picked out Olivier Giroud on the edge of the area and the forward cleverly lad it off into the path of Podolski, who controlled neatly before sliding it low past Geoffrey Jourden.
Less than 10 minutes after falling behind, Arsenal were in front. Gervinho continued his impressive start to the campaign as he surged to the edge of the box, before the ball eventually found its way to Carl Jenkinson on the right whose excellent low cross found the forward bursting Ivorian to slot home.
Arsenal managed to hang on in the second half, with Belhanda missing a good chance for the home side as he fired straight at Mannone when well placed.
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