Arsenal secured their progress to the Champions League knockout stages for the 13th consecutive season with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Montpellier at the Emirates.
After taking one point from their double header with Schalke, Arsenal got back to winning ways and built on Saturday’s emphatic victory over Tottenham. Following a disappointing opening period, Arsenal got the victory with goals from Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski in the second half.
Laurent Koscielny had come close to giving Arsenal the lead in the first 45 minutes as his header from a Thomas Vermaelen cross struck the cross bar.
And it was another ball into the area from the Belgian that led to Arsenal’s opener four minutes into the second half.
Getting forward from his less familiar left-back position, Vermaelen turned back onto his right foot and crossed to the far post where Olivier Giroud did well to get just enough of his head to the ball to put it back inside for Wilshere to emerge unmarked and prod past Geoffrey Jourdren from six yards out. For the English midfielder it was a special moment as he celebrated his first goal after returning from a long injury absence.
In the 63rd minute Arsenal doubled their lead. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stole the ball on the halfway line and raced down the right before finding Podolski. The Germany international played a one-two with former Montpellier striker Giroud and then produced a crisply struck first time volley into the back of the net from inside the box.
That was enough for Arsenal to get the three points they needed as they progress alongside Schalke, with Olympiakos claiming a Europa League place. The final round of fixtures will now decide who claims top spot in Group B, with Arsenal needing to beat Olympiakos in Greece and hope that Schlake fail to win in Montpellier.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.