Arsenal offered up 2 minutes of brilliance and 88 minutes of doing just enough to get out of France with an important three points. First half goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho answered an early Montpellier penalty as the Gunners got their Champions League group stages off to a winning start.
Montpellier strucks first on a penalty in the opening ten minutes thanks to an ill advised tackle from Thomas Vermaelen on Younes Belhanda just inside the box. Belhanda went to the spot and cheekily beat Vito Mannone with soft chip. Arsenal answered with two goals in two minutes, the first from Lukas Podolski after some nifty passing from Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud. Carl Jenkinson found Gervinho with a great cross right in front of goal and the midfielder beat Geoffrey Jourdren to give Arsenal a 2-1 lead they'd take to halftime.
Montpellier spent the first 15 minutes of the second half in berserker mode attacking the Arsenal goal, but it all came to naught as they managed to waste several good chances. Remy Cabella got closest, chipping a shot off the cross bar, but the rest of the attempts tended to sail anywhere but actually near Vito Mannone.
The pressure continued as the half went on, but again and again Montpellier simply couldn't make the final pass or hit the right place with a shot. Head coach Rene Girard was nearly driven to tears in the 80th minute after Belhanda found the ball on his foot, right in front of goal and sent his shot straight at the goalkeeper Mannone. It was some of the most unlucky and insanely frustrating football you'll ever see.
Montpellier will be rueing this result and the pile of missed opportunities they left on the table.