Arsenal progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League thanks to a victory over Montpellier combined with Schalke’s victory over Olympiakos last night. Arsenal are now placed second in the pool and will look to beat Olympiakos in the last group match and hope that Schalke draw so that they can finish on top of the group. Looking at the teams that are topping the group, it would be ideal to play a second placed team except maybe Real Madrid 🙂
The first half of the match was rather lacklustre with innumerable number of wrong passes from either side especially Arsenal. Wilshere was one frustrated soul who could not connect with Podolski especially in two incidents one with Podolski and the other with Giroud. Podolski made a good run on the left side to the final third of the Montpellier pitch, but Wilshere’s pass was slighlty behind and Podolski made gestures saying that the ball should have been passed forward and not backward. The second incident was in the second half where Giroud made a good tackle and won the ball, but instead of giving the ball to Wilshere who was right behind him, turned around and crossed to the right flank to Wilshere or Ox, I don’t remember who it was. Wilshere almost lost it and was left a frustrated soul.
I can see that Wilshere is just settling into the first XI and it will take some more time before he seamlessly connects to the various moving parts of the team like Podolski and Giroud. And I can’t wait for that day. But he was rewarded for his predating instincts as a Giroud header found him right in the box for tapping in a well taken goal to score after two years.
That settled some of the nerves in the stadium and of the players. But we were looking vulnerable defending. Steve Bould has some work to do, that’s for sure. We did create more chances than the first half. And then in the end Giroud, our hard working centre forward chipped the ball towards an advancing Podolski and Podolski did a Van-Persieque shot.
Glorious! Podolski was looking a lonely soul for sometime but when he scores like this who can complain. Now we need him to maintain his form for the rest of the season. Among the other players, I thought Mertesacker was looking solid at the back. Arteta had one of those games where he had a 70-30 game. One more thing to note was that Ox cannot give us what we expect from Walcott this year. AOC had reservation running at the full-backs and there were not that many chances from that side. Lets just hope now that we qualify on top fo the group and then take it from there.
One last word on Chelsea and their mad owner Abrahmovic. Not that I liked Roberto Di Matteo in the first place, I would not have given him the role in the first place. But once he was made in charge it is really stupid to throw him out six months after winning the Champions League. It was only a month back when Chelsea was on top of the league. Abrahmovic is setting the wrong standard in football.