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Bould: Arsenal will go to Blues with confidence

ASSISTANT boss Steve Bould maintains Arsenal can head to Manchester City full of confidence after opening their Champions League campaign with a battling 2-1 victory in Montpellier.

With manager Arsene Wenger watching from the stands for the first of a three-match UEFA touchline ban, the Gunners recovered from giving away an early penalty to hit two quick goals through in-form Lukas Podolski and Gervinho before riding out the second-half storm at the Stade de la Mosson.

The positive result continued the Gunners' unbeaten start to the new campaign, having thumped Southampton 6-1 at Emirates Stadium last weekend.

Next up, though, is a trip to tackle the Premier League champions, who will be smarting from their 3-2 defeat in Madrid.

Bould, however, sees no reason why Arsenal's momentum cannot see them rise to the challenge on Sunday afternoon.

"We have had a decent start to the season and we have kept the run going so it's important all round, for the whole season," said the former Arsenal defender.

"We will go to Manchester City with a bit of confidence. It is better being this way, but it is a proper test. It is where we want to be and hopefully we can come away saying we did okay again."

Bould admitted he had "a bit of a headache" after stepping into Wenger's shoes for the first time since becoming his assistant.

Wenger would no doubt have been fuming when captain Thomas Vermaelen gave away an early penalty.

However, Arsenal responded magnificently and were soon level through a fine finish by German international Podolski.


Before the French side, making their Champions League debut following last season's brilliant Ligue 1 campaign, could recover, Arsenal swept ahead on 18 minutes through Gervinho.

Although the hosts rallied after the break, with lively winger Remi Cabella hitting the crossbar and goalscorer Younes Belhanda missing a great chance late on, the Gunners closed out the win.

"I am not sure I enjoyed it. I have got a headache and a half," said Bould. "It is quite an intimidating place to come and play so we are glad to get the result."

Montpellier coach Rene Girard felt his team could take some positives out of their Champions League debut.

"I have some regrets but also some satisfaction," he said.