Montpellier boss praises plucky draw with Schalke

Montpellier coach Rene Girard was delighted with his team's spirited performance to earn their first Champions League point at Schalke 04, then accused the hosts of disrespect.

Schalke were 2-1 up and cruising to their second Champions League win of the season when Senegal international Souleymane Camara stunned the Veltins Arena crowd with a curling effort on 90 minutes.

It was a bitter-sweet end for Montpellier, who had defender Garry Bocaly sent off early in the second half for a foul on Schalke goal-scorer Julian Draxler, before the French struck late to claim the point.

"I am proud of my players, that was a deserved point," said Girard, whose team lost 2-1 at home to Group B leaders Arsenal a fortnight ago.

"Eleven against eleven would have been a different story.

"This team (Schalke) has disrespected us, starting with the coach.

"And when you don't show respect, things like this happen.

"I am very happy because our Champions League story continues.

"You have to believe until the end."

Camara was delighted that his late equaliser gave his team their first point after Montpellier's Morocco forward Karim Ait-Fana had given his side an early lead before Schalke teenager Julia Draxler equalised in the first-half.

Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted the second-half penalty on 52 minutes after Bocaly's dismissal for his foul on Draxler before Camara finished off the decisive counter-attack.

"I do not know if this is justice, but in any case it's nice to get a point," said Camara.

"Was a great game against a great team, but now we have to keep improving.

"The red card (offence) wasn't obvious, but we did not give up and kept working. I am happy for the team and myself, we deserved it."

Having also drawn 2-2 at Bundesliga minnows Fortuna Duesseldorf last Friday, Schalke were left fuming at letting another victory escape their grasp.

"We dominated the game, but at the moment we just can't decide games. That hurts," fumed Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes after the final whistle while goal-scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar agreed: "We played with too much fear".

Schalke face a tough tie in London at Arsenal on October 24, the same night Montpellier host Olympiakos.

"You could say that we dropped two points, but we have four points under our belt already and we just need to keep going strong," said Schalke coach Huub Stevens.

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