Aalborg into quarters with win over Montpellier
What a night to remember for Aalborg - and especially for Felix Claar – who dominated Montpellier and celebrated their new longest winning EHF Champions League run, of six consecutive victories.
Montpellier fought back towards the end but are still without a Champions League point in 2022 following four defeats.
MOTW: Montpellier HB (FRA) vs. Aalborg Håndbold (DEN) 31:33 (14:20)
- despite the international comeback of Argentine centre back Diego Simonet, Montpellier could not keep up with Aalborg from the start until the 50th minute
- after a slow start from both sides, Aalborg’s Swedish trio Lukas Sandell, Felix Claar and Jesper Nielsen hit form to help Aalborg into a half-time lead
- Montpellier left wing Hugo Descat was the Montpellier player keeping his side in contention with eight goals from eight attempts
- From the 45th minute Montpellier improved in attack and were close to turning the match around at 30:32, before Buster Juul-Lassen scored the winning goal for Aalborg
- Player of the Match Claar scored 10 goals and went to number one in the Champions League scorers’ list with 75, one ahead of Barcelona’s Dika Mem
- Aalborg consolidate first position in the group with 20 points and have a match against HC PPD Zagreb left before the quarter-finals
- Montpellier are now fourth on 16 points
First seven victories, now three straight defeats
It is definitely not Montpellier’s longest run without a win - that was a series of seven matches right after winning the Champions League trophy in 2018 - but this current rut is really hurting them.
Montpellier made a weak group phase start with one point from their first two matches, but then they found form. Beating THW Kiel 37:30 was the starting signal for seven victories in a row and eventually Montpellier were on top of the group.
But the downswing started with the draw against Brest in their last match of 2021, and since then, Montpellier has not won a point in 2022 - and they face a tricky final group match away to Pick Szeged next week.