FT: Montpellier 1 Arsenal 2

90
The referee blows his whistle for full-time and Arsenal have hung on after a second-half onslaught from the French champions. A winning start for the Gunners, 2-1. Thanks for joining us.

90
Cabella goes down easily in the box under a challenge from Diaby and the referee waves away the penalty appeals.

90
Arsenal double substitution: Cazorla off Coquelin on. Podolski off, Walcott on.

87
Mannone climbs high to claim a deflected cross.

86
Free-kick to Montpellier deep in their own half. Arsenal won't mind that.

85
Ramsey, Gibbs, Podolski, Cazorla, Ramsey, Vermaelen, Ramsey, Gervinho, offside. Arsenal try to keep the ball and wind down the clock.

84
Stambouli battles well for the ball as Montpellier press for the equaliser.

83
Belhanda goes into the book for a foul on Arteta.

82
Jenkinson hoof, high into the stands as Arsenal defend un-Arsenal-like late on.

81
It was a good save by Mannone but it really should be 2-2.

80
Montpellier carve out a glorious chance for Belhanda who shows composure in a busy box but places it into the arms of Mannone. Great, great chance for the equaliser.

78
Montpellier double change: Camara is replaced by Benjamin Stambouli and Emanuel Herrera is on for Estrada.

77
Bocaly battles his way to a throw-in as Montpellier continue to throw everything at this game.

76
Giroud is replaced by Aaron Ramsey.

73
Bocaly wins a corner for Montpellier off Gervinho, who is doing a lot of defending at the moment.

71
Ait-Fana slips at a vital stage, just as he was getting his shot away.

70
The hesitation in the Arsenal defence won't have pleased Steve Bould there but Ait-Fana is adjudged to have fouled Mertesacker.

69
Bedimo hooks a volley goalwards but Mannone has no problems with that.

68
Mounier is replaced by Karim Ait-Fana as Montpellier make a change.

65
Great play from Montpellier as Bocaly and Saihi combine in the Arsenal box. The former falls over when it gets tight but the referee is rightly not interested.

63
Diaby redeems himself for his earlier faux pas with a striding interception that breaks up a dangerous Montpellier move.

62
Mannone hits his goal-kick straight out of play. Nobody wants to be him after that.

61
Arsenal use Gibbs as an outlet down the left as they bid to ease the pressure on their defensive ranks.

59
Bocaly floats in a cross from the Montpellier right but Mertesacker beats Camara in that particular aerial battle.

57
Cazorla! Good effort from the Arsenal midfielder who breaks free down the inside left channel. Montpellier 'keeper Geoffrey Jourdren beats it away though.

56
Estrada's free-kick is a poor one and that's meat and drink to 'I am Vito Mannone.'

55
Cabella draws a fould from Gibbs who is lucky to escape a booking. Free-kick on the Montpellier right.

54
Cabella floats a classy chip over Mannone and it hits the bar. Great effort from the forward and it's all Montpellier.

53
Jamil Saihi turns sweetly and chips a fabulous pass through to Cabella who drags his shot wide. A waste after a fine ball.

52
Garry Bocaly smashes a volley high and wide as the home side continue to carve out chances.

51
Per Mertesacker sticks out his left leg to clear another Montpellier cross.

50
Montpellier have started much the brighter of the two sides in this second stanza.

49
Montpellier do like a short corner and they work it well again. This time it drops to Mounier who connects well on the volley but it's blocked.

48
Hilton to Mounier to Bedimo. Montpellier win a corner.

47
Diaby must've read my praise for him in this very clockwatch at half-time as he's just embarrassed himself. You can't mess about with possession in your own box but he recklessly loses the ball and only a wayward shot from Cabella spares his blushes.

46
Arsenal get the second period under way.

By the way, check out the Sky Bet HT priceboosts that include 12/1 about Arsenal to win 4-1.

If you took the 13/10 about Arsenal before kick-off well done. Sky Bet go 4/11 now.

The main issue I have with the 'I am Vito Mannone' chant is the next line - surely there's plenty of people you'd rather be than the Arsenal substitute 'keeper. If not there should be. I'd rather be Wojciech Szczesny for a start.

James Ellis also says: "The song Arsenal fans are trying to get going is "I am vito mannone!!!" to the chesney hawkes number I am the one and only." Thanks James, it could be better though. In my opinion the Emirates faithful clearly need to check out the Roy Orbison smash hit.

Scott Armstrong comments on the big issue from the first half: "I am Vito Mannone" to the tune of Chesney Hawkes "I Am The One And Only." Good one Scott, very good. Although I will have the one-hit wonder in my head all night now... 'There ain't nobody I'd rather be.'

45
An Arsenal corner comes to nothing and that's the last action in the first half, a half that started badly for the Gunners but got better and better as the minutes ticked by. 2-1 Arsenal at the break

44
Giroud does well to connect with a cross that was curling away from him, but it's wide.

43
Gervinho, Gervinho, Gervinho, Gervinho, still Gervinho. The Arsenal forward evades challenges in the Montpellier box but eventually his shot his blocked.

42
Clever play from Arteta who wins a free-kick in the centre circle.

41
Montpellier skipper Yanga-Mbiwa goes in the book.

39
I wonder if Mannone will ever have his name sung to the tune of Roy Orbison classic 'Only The Lonely'? :'Only Mannone'. Apologies, it's a quiet period. You've missed nothing.

38
Montpellier have numbers in attack but the final ball is poor. Mounier rescues it from going out of play with a neat back-heel but Estrada's cross finds only Mannone.

37
Yanga-Mbiwa and Giroud have a physical tussle for the ball. It's all within the rules.

36
Arsenal deal with the corner without fuss.

35
Montpellier work a good position for Mounier who wins a corner via the face of Gervinho.

34
The corner comes to nothing. Well, it comes to Estrada who isn't so accurate this time.

33
Marco Estrada strides forward with purpose and and unleashes a fierce shot from 25 yards. Good save from Mannone who just gets a touch on it to send it behind for a corner.

32
Arteta hesitates when the short free-kick is passed to him and Montpellier block his cross.

31
Giroud shows strength to win a free-kick for Arsenal.

30
Cabella needs to go in the book for his theatrics. At least this time the referee ignores his play-acting and Arsenal get on with it. And he gives him a good talking to when play breaks down.

29
Diaby, Arteta, Jenkinson, Gervinho... move breaks down. Pretty stuff from the Gunners, though.

27
Montpellier work the short corner well but the dangerously floated cross is dealt with by Gibbs.

26
Giroud gives away possession and Montpellier break. Mounier wins a corner after a run into the Arsenal box.

25
Diaby hasn't been fazed by his early booking. The first 25 minutes has been another masterclass from the gangly midfielder.

24
Montpellier begin a counter-attack from the resulting corner but it comes to nothing.

23
Cazorla's corner goes out for another corner. Pressure mounting.

22
Jenkinson whips in another super cross from the right, but Montpellier defend this one with competence.

21
Gervinho is keen. Too keen on this occassion as he is caught offside.

20
Belhanda crosses in a terrible free-kick and that's easy for Arsenal to defend.

19
Montpellier look a little-bit shell-shocked after the quickfire blitz from Arsenal.

18
GERVINHO! It's the Jenkinson and Gervinho combination once again as the right-back fires in a devilish low cross and Gervinho just cannot miss from five yards out. 2-1 Arsenal, what a response from the Premier League outfit.

16
PODOLSKI!. Lovely move from Arsenal that ends with a neat little flick-pass from Giroud to Lukas Podolski and the German does not waste chances like that. 1-1.

14
Jenkinson, Gervinho, Jenkinson, Gervinho. Lovely inter-play from the duo down the Arsenal right but Gervinho's cross is blocked and the danger passes.

13
Cabella belts one high over the bar from distance.

12
Remy Cabella wins a free-kick for Montpellier when he should have been booked for simulation.

11
Montpellier have their tails up.

10
Henri Bedimo chips a cross through the smoke from a flare and that sails harmlessly wide of Arsenal's goal.

9
BELHANDA! The Montpellier number 10 shows RVP how it is done with a cheeky little chipped penalty into the Arsenal goal. 1-0 Montpellier.

9
Vermaelen fouls Younes Belhanda right on the edge of the box and it's a penalty. Silly from the Arsenal skipper as the striker was running away from goal.

8
Anthony Mounier v Carl Jenkinson battle number one. Jenkinson wins.

7
It's a bright start from Arsenal, who are dominating the early possession.

6
Cazorla's flag-kick is cleared by the Montpelliier defence at teh first time of asking.

5
Neat play from Kieran Gibbs wins Arsenal a corner.

4
Santi Cazorla strikes the free-kick into the Montpellier wall and the French champions clear the danger.

3
Free-kick for Arsenal in a dangerous area on the edge of the Montpellier box.

2
Souleymene Camara is offside, narrowly, when in a good position in the Arsenal box.

1
Abou Diaby goes in the book after 20 seconds for a lunging tackle in the centre circle.

1
And the French champions get this Group B encounter under way.

Vermaelen wins the coin toss and decides to keep his players at the end they were warming up at. I would've done that. Montpellier, consequently, get kick-off.

There's only one Daniel Dunham who says: "I reckon Giroud will end his goal drought tonight in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Montpellier other goals from Arteta and Cazorla".

If you fancy Olivier Giroud to score against his old club, Sky Bet have boosted his first goalscorer price to 6/1. Be quick, though. We kick-off in seven minutes.

1-0 to the Ars-e-nal is 6/1 at Sky Bet.

I've nicked this stat from the Opta nerds, so thank them for this little nugget: Arsenal have never lost an away game in France, winning five and drawing four, with their last three all ending 1-0 to the Gunners.

And Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Gervinho, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Shea, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Coquelin.

For those of you who like to see the teams in traditional format, here you go: Montpellier: Jourdren, Bocaly, Yanga M'Biwa, Hilton, Bedimo, Estrada, Saihi, Mounier, Belhanda, Cabella, Camara. Subs: Pionnier, Marveaux, Herrera, Congre, Ait-Fana, Stambouli, Jeunechamp.

Tonight's referee is Carlos Velasco Carballo from the land of Spain.

Montpellier have struggled at the start of their new domestic season, losing three times already. Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa returns to captain the side.

Vito Mannone deputises in goal for the injured Wojciech Szczesny, while Abou Diaby comes back into midfield after recovering from a hip problem.

Olivier Giroud faces his former club tonight. The France international has yet to score since his £12million move from the Ligue 1 winners, but has been restored to the starting line-up by manager Arsene Wenger, who begins a three-match touchline ban.

Arsenal are 13/10 with Sky Bet to win tonight. Colleague Ben Coley is all over them but I should point out he is an Arsenal fan. Can the Gunners do it? 13/10 isn't a bad price if you fancy them to do the business.

Welcome to Montpellier v Arsenal at the Stade de la Mosson. Kick-off is 19:45. Get your pre-match thoughts into ben.linfoot@bskyb.com including all your betting tips. We can win money together.

Champions League Fixtures

Tuesday, 29 April 2014
19:45
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Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Chelsea v A Madrid  

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