Two goals in three minutes earned Arsenal FC a comeback victory at Montpellier Hérault SC in their UEFA Champions League Group B opener.
Having won Ligue 1 last season, coach René Girard was asked what his next dream was in Monday's pre-match press conference. "To swim like Michael Phelps," came the reply; 24 hours later it was a case of sink or swim for his squad, who so very nearly kept their heads above water. Younés Belhanda's impudent penalty gave the tournament debutants a ninth-minute lead, but two strikes in three minutes from Lukas Podolski and the in-form Gervinho ensured Arsenal, who weathered a formidable second-half storm, made the perfect start.
We tried to live up to the fans' expectations but it was difficult against a team who control the ball very well. I scored the penalty my way, but I lacked composure with my last chance.
We played very well in the first half, not so good in the second, but we have the three points which is very important in this competition.
|16||Jourdren (GK)||24||Mannone (GK)|
|1||Pionnier (GK)||60||Shea (GK)|
|René Girard (FRA)||Steve Bould (ENG)|
|Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)|
|D||Real Madrid||Man. City|