ARSENAL 2 vs MONTPELLIER 0
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger insists he will go all out to claim first place in Group B after seeing his side ensure passage to the Champions League knockout stage for the 13th successive season.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere’s first goal for almost two years and a blistering volley from forward Lukas Podolski earned a comfortable victory, but Schalke’s three points against Olympiacos kept them top.
To pip the Germans Arsenal must win in Greece and hope Schalke do not beat Montpellier – and Wenger has vowed to resist the temptation to rest stars and send his strongest squad in the hope of doing so.
“We will play to win, to finish top of the group,” said Wenger, who lauded fit-again Wilshere’s improving contribution. “I am pleased for Wilshere, it’s great to see him getting stronger.”
Wilshere netted in the 49th minute, when Thomas Vermaelen’s cross was headed down by Olivier Giroud and the midfielder, who returned from an 18-month injury in October, nimbly lifted over goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren.
In-form striker Giroud also provided the second on 63 minutes, returning a pass from Podolski with a nonchalant chip that the German despatched first time into the roof of the net with a thunderous volley.