Arsenal 2 Montpellier 0: Wilshere eyes top spot as Gunners qualify
Arsenal 2 Montpellier 0: Jack Wilshere targets top spot in Group B after Gunners book their place in the last 16
Jack Wilshere is targeting top spot in Group B after his goal helped Arsenal sail through to the Champions League last 16 with victory over Montpellier.
The Gunners made the breakthrough four minutes after half-time when Wilshere flicked his finish over goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren after being fed by Olivier Giroud.
Lukas Podolski then doubled the home side’s advantage with a superb volley from Giroud’s flick-on to secure the north Londoners’ progression into the knockout phase.
Arsene Wenger’s men can still top their Group if they can win at Olympiakos in a fortnight and Schalke, who are also through, fail to beat Montpellier.
But Wilshere has warned the Gunners that they must “step up” their performances if they are to finish ahead of the Bundesliga side.
“We’re pleased,” Wilshere told Sky Sports. “It was a tough game tonight. We started off sloppily but knew if we kept going we could get the win.
“We haven’t finished top yet, we still have one more game to go at Olympiakos and that’s a big game. We need to finish top of the group.
“We’ve seen in past years that if you finish second you can be in trouble going into the last 16 so we need to finish top.”
He added: “I think we have to step it up from tonight, it wasn’t good enough. In the second half we upped it and we got the three points. [But] we have to work on our weaknesses.”
Wilshere is continuing his return to full fitness after missing the whole of last season with ankle and knee problems.
And the 20-year-old admits he is unsure how long it will take him to rediscover his top form.
“I don’t know [how long it will be until he is back at his best],” he said. “I’ve never been injured before so I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take.
“I feel better and better every game. In the first half I was sloppy and gave the ball away too much but we’ve got great players in this team that keep you going.”