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Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier

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Wilshere: On target for Gunners

Wilshere: On target for Gunners

Arsenal qualified for the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League with a 2-0 win over Montpellier at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

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The first half threatened at times to burst into life, but was for the most part an uninspiring affair.

Laurent Koscielny enjoyed the best chance of the half after the ten-minute mark, the defender smacking a header against the crossbar after the ball broke free from a Santi Cazorla corner, but that was about as good as it got for the Gunners, who lacked quality in the final third.

At times the hosts looked laboured and slow in and around the box, Jack Wilshere typifying that approach by lofting the ball into empty space when he should have taken on a shot from range.

Lukas Podolski also had a couple of half-chances at goal, sending a low shot wide of the post from just outside the box before being played in by Cazorla with a brilliant pass that kept him firmly onside, only to slam his powerful shot wide of the target.

The second half saw a more determined home side emerge, however, and it wasn't long before the Gunners got the breakthrough their persistence deserved.

In what was a far cry from some of his touches in the first half, Wilshere showed a deft touch to open the scoring, the midfielder getting his foot to the ball first after it was knocked down by Olivier Giroud in the box.

Wilshere's cute finish and the assist from Giroud seemed to hand Arsene Wenger's men renewed confidence, and it wasn't long before they grabbed another goal.

Giroud, again, turned provider, dinking the ball up for Podolski to run onto in the box, the German thumping a stunner of a volley past Geoffrey Jourdren in the Montpellier goal.

Cazorla had half a chance to make Arsenal's lead a flattering one, but his first-time shot was kept out by a one-handed save from Jourdren.

It didn't matter in the end, though, as the north Londoners saw out a comfortable victory to progress to the knock-out stages.

Posted: 21/11/12 21:41

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