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Schalke seek win at Montpellier's expense

Published: Monday 26 November 2012, 10.00CET
First place in Group B is within reach for FC Schalke 04, who will achieve their aim should they beat an eliminated Montpellier Hérault SC team looking for a first group stage win.
Schalke seek win at Montpellier's expense
Christian Fuchs celebrates the goal that took Schalke into the last 16 ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 26 November 2012, 10.00CET

Schalke seek win at Montpellier's expense

First place in Group B is within reach for FC Schalke 04, who will achieve their aim should they beat an eliminated Montpellier Hérault SC team looking for a first group stage win.

FC Schalke 04 will be looking to win their final fixture at Montpellier Hérault SC to ensure they finish first in Group B. With a one-point lead over Arsenal FC, a draw in France would leave them in second place should the Gunners prevail at Olympiacos FC.

• A Christian Fuchs goal – his first in the competition – 13 minutes from time broke Olympiacos' resistance on matchday five and ensured Schalke's progression to the knockout rounds for their third successive UEFA Champions League campaign.

• At the same time Montpellier were going down 2-0 away to Arsenal, confirming both the London team's qualification and the French champions' elimination from Europe.

• The matchday two fixture between the teams gave ten-man Montpellier their first – and only – UEFA Champions League point thanks to a 2-2 draw. Karim Aït-Fana had shot the competition newcomers ahead, with Julian Draxler making it 1-1. The home team went in front following Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's penalty, awarded after Garry Bocaly's dismissal, but Souleymane Camara's last-minute equaliser rescued a point.

• Montpellier's first two home games ended in 2-1 defeats by both Arsenal and Olympiacos. Schalke started with a 2-1 win in Piraeus and then became the first foreign visitors to defeat Arsenal at home since 2003, ending a 45-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory.

Match background
• The 3 October fixture in Gelsenkirchen was the first time the sides had crossed paths. Previously Montpellier, French champions for the first time in 2011/12, had only met German opponents in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In the 1997 semi-final they beat 1. FC Köln 1-0 at home, going through on away goals after losing the away leg 2-1. In their final they went down 4-2 to Olympique Lyonnais.

• Two years later Montpellier met German sides in both the semi-finals and finals of the UEFA Intertoto Cup. They overcame MSV Duisburg in the last four, drawing 1-1 away and winning 3-0 at home. In the finals they swapped 1-1 draws with Hamburger SV, eventually winning 3-0 on penalties in the second leg in Hamburg. They went on to reach the UEFA Cup second round, overcoming FK Crvena zvezda 3-2 on aggregate in the first round before going down 5-1 to RC Deportivo La Coruña over two legs.

• Schalke have lost both their away games against French opponents; before matchday two they had won three out of three home fixtures. They lost 3-1 at AS Nancy-Lorraine in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round and 1-0 at Lyon in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Schalke are making their fifth UEFA Champions League appearance and when they were last involved, in 2010/11, they reached the semi-finals before coming unstuck against Manchester United FC, losing 2-0 at home and 4-1 away.

Team ties
• Benedikt Höwedes scored Germany's 90th-minute winner in the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off against a France team that included Anthony Mounier. His goal gave Germany a 1-0 win in the second leg in Metz on 15 October 2008 and a 2-1 aggregate victory, with both players having also featured in the 1-1 first-leg draw. Germany went on to lift the trophy at the finals in Sweden.

• On 7 September 2007 Tranquillo Barnetta scored Switzerland's opening goal in a 2-1 friendly victory over Chile in Vienna. Marco Estrada came on for the South American side in the 66th minute.

• Estrada's team got their revenge at the 2010 FIFA World Cup when Chile defeated Switzerland 1-0 in the group stage. Estrada was on the bench and Barnetta came on in the 42nd minute.

• In the 2006/07 UEFA Cup round of 16 Barnetta's Leverkusen took on RC Lens, whose team included Hilton. The French side won their home leg 2-1 but lost 3-0 in Leverkusen.

• John Utaka and Chinedu Obasi are team-mates in the Nigerian national side but have yet to play together.

• On 7 September, Teemu Pukki's Finland lost their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier 1-0 against France in Helsinki. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa played 90 minutes for the winning side.

Last updated: 03/12/12 12.27CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009578/prematch/background/index.html#schalke+seek+montpelliers+expense

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