Champions League

Arteta hails 'calm' Arsenal

Gunners refused to panic against Montpellier, says midfielder

Mikel Arteta: Helped Arsenal make an ideal start to their Champions League campaign

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Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta believes the Gunners' refusal to panic under pressure was the key to their "vital" Champions League victory at Montpellier.

The French champions took an early lead through Younes Belhanda's penalty, before goals from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho swung the Group B opener in Arsenal's favour.

However, Arsene Wenger's team had to withstand an intense period of late pressure before returning back across the Channel with maximum points.

Remy Cabella watched his deft chip bounce back off the crossbar, while Belhanda spurned a great chance by firing straight at Vito Mannone from close range.

Tough

"We knew it was going to be tough, they were champions in France last year and that is no coincidence," Arteta told Arsenal Player.

"They work really hard, they have some talented players and scored the first one at home, which means it is always difficult to get back into the game.

"But we scored two brilliant goals and managed to get the result - it was vital for us to get the first three points away from home.

"You can't panic, we knew in the last 25 minutes they were going to throw some bodies up front and create some problems.

"They missed a clear chance at the end but I am so glad to get the points, it is a brilliant way to start."

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