Gervinho and Podolski scored as Arsenal came back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Montpellier in their Champions League opener on Tuesday, 18th September 2012. Montpellier midfielder Younes Belhanda won and converted a penalty in the ninth minute, Podolski equalized in the 16th and Gervinho put the Gunners ahead two minutes later.
“Podolski has made a real impact. I have to say I’ve not seen many finishers as good as him – ever, right foot, left foot,” said Arsenal’ s assistant coach Steve Bould, who led the team as Arsene Wenger served the first game of a touchline ban. “We have had a decent start to the season and we have kept the run going so it’s important all round,” Bould continued. “We have got great team spirit and I think that was evident tonight. Everybody is digging in and things are looking okay.”
FC Barcelona play host to Spartak Moscow this evening as they look to get their 2012-13 UEFA Champions League campaign underway with a win. The Russians were drawn into Group G from the Third Pot, so in theory they are the third best team in the group, but given that Benfica have sold a number of key players, The Blaugrana, with four wins from four, they are in fine domestic form, and aside from a blip against Real Madrid, they are 100% under Tito Vilanova.
Barça have never lost their first game in the Champions League when it’s been played at the Camp Nou. Over the last eight games when they have opened their campaign at home, Barça have won seven – with last year’s 2-2 draw against AC Milan the only time they’ve failed to claim an opening home victory.
"It's always important to win your first game in the Champions League," PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "To play the way we did tonight can only be good for our confidence."