Arsenal FC's Lukas Podolski reflected on his splendid goal against Montpellier Hérault SC by outlining his desire for more of the same with the club he joined in the summer. Fellow forward Olivier Giroud may not have scored against the club he left in the summer but was nonetheless happy with a positive result that took the north London team into the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Montpellier, meanwhile, were left to lick their wounds, although goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren has targeted a historic win against FC Schalke 04 on matchday six.
Lukas Podolski, Arsenal forward
When you score a goal like this you're very happy. The important thing was to win and qualify. It's great to have done that. This is my first season and I hope the coming years also turn out like this. We can now look forward to our last match against Olympiacos and we want to win. After that we can start to think about the next round. It's not easy when you come into a club from another country and we play every three days. I've played very well in recent matches and I look forward to scoring a lot of goals for this club.
Olivier Giroud, Arsenal forward
The result is positive and we've qualified. We had a lot of trouble getting into the match. Technically we weren't sound enough to begin with. Montpellier gave it a go without unduly worrying us and we stayed focused and kept playing our football. We were able to accelerate after half-time and it's good to have won. I'm happy to have contributed two assists. For the first, I sensed Thomas Vermaelen was going to cross to the far post so I dropped deep, saw Jack Wilshere arriving alone around the penalty spot and just had to win the ball in the air.
For the second, I know Lukas likes to play it into me and then get on his bike, so I saw there was the possibility to play it up in the air. He produced a beautiful finish and it's great for the fans and for us. I had a chance later with my right foot. I should have lifted my shot but Geoffrey Jourdren made a very good save. I didn't score against my old team-mates but I was effective against them nevertheless.
Geoffrey Jourdren, Montpellier goalkeeper
We played well in the first half and caused a lot of problems for them. In the second half, we had 15 or 20 difficult minutes during which time we didn't manage to contain them. They scored two goals through individual efforts which hurt us and after that we knew it would be really hard. We have no regrets as we came up against a good Arsenal side.
Olivier Giroud showed his talent again this evening. We knew him as a goalscorer and as a provider and this evening he provided assists. It's good for him and he's continuing to progress at a very big club. We're happy for him. We've still got one game left to play, against Schalke, and we really want to win one in the Champions League as that would be historic for Montpellier. We'll give it everything against Schalke.
Daniel Congré, Montpellier defender
We didn't start the second half well. We showed good intent in the first half and we needed to carry on like that after the break, keep pressing them and disrupt their play. As the match wore on they got into their rhythm and it became difficult. They were clinical, exploiting the gaps they created in our ranks. They're a top team who come up with the goods when it matters.
There are always regrets, especially considering we put them off their stride in the first half. We earned the right to play in this competition and that means we can't afford to stutter our way through our final group game.
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