Arsenal started their European campaign with a win over Ligue 1 champions Montpellier. The French team earned a debatable 9th minute penalty with Younes Belhanda slotting the ball past Vito Mannone. The Premier League team executed a quick comeback as the very-impressive Lukas Podolski scored, minutes before Gervinho put the team ahead. The match finished 2-1 at the Stade de la Mosson but Montpellier will be frustrated by their poor conversion rate.
Arsenal have started to perform after a slow start to the season but the French team have been lacklustre and currently sit 16th. The Gunners have the experience and the quality to push for a last-16 place and – if they manage to avoid Barcelona for once – they may go even further.
The second game in the group was between Olympiakos and Schalke, who will be hoping to match their semi-final finish in 2010-11. Kyriakos Papadopoulos had a goal ruled out minutes before his centre back partner Benedikt Howedes headed the opener in the 41st minute before Djamel Abdoun equalised just before the 60th minute. The Gelsenkirchen club were quick to apply the pressure and Klaas Jan Huntelaar earned the winner several minutes later.
Schalke have had an impressive start to the season and they boast some of the top young talents in Europe but they will be thoroughly tested. Olympiakos lack the talent to progress but they may be able earn some points.
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