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Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Girard: We must learn from mistakes

Fabien Perrin, France Corresponent

Montpellier coach Rene Girard was left with "a lot of regrets" after his side lost a one-goal lead as they were defeated by Arsenal in their first-ever Champions League game.

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Younes Belhanda's 'Panenka' penalty put the hosts ahead at the Stade de la Mosson, but two goals in two minutes from Lukas Podolski and Gervinho gave the Gunners a 2-1 victory.

And Girard is hoping that his players can learn from the mistakes of their first game and improve as their Champions League campaign progresses.

"I have a lot of satisfaction, but a lot of regrets too," he said. "We made our point by opening the scoring. But, in two minutes, we almost killed ourselves. We lost our concentration - that happens too often at the moment."

Montpellier were much improved after half-time but failed to snatch an equaliser, with Remy Cabella coming closest with an effort that hit the crossbar.

"We produced a second half full of determination, we had chances to come back but we failed to convert," Girard said. "It will be a new start this season. We threatened one of the best European teams - I don't know if that happens to them often.

"In the second half, we showed a level that was maybe our best since the beginning of the season. But we can't be happy and believe everything is good.

"I said that our possible qualification [for the knockout stages] depended to our results at home. We have only two games remaining, and it will be difficult. If we can cause a surprise away and continue in this way, we could do something interesting."

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