Montpellier start campaign with successArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: Montpellier defeat TATRAN Presov with a strong second half and seven goals from Vid Kavticnik.

Montpellier start campaign with success

The only previous VELUX EHF Champions League winners in Group C, French league runners-up Montpellier, had a successful start to their 2016/17 campaign thanks to an improved second-half performance against Qualification Group 1 winners TATRAN Presov.

The win confirms Montpellier’s status as group favourites as they beat the Slovakian champions by five goals following a tough test through the first half.

•    The absence of defensive ace Radoslav Pekar proves a problem for TATRAN Presov
•    Changing between 5-1 and 6-0 defensive systems works well for the hosts in the second half
•    Montpellier left back Vid Kavticnik leads the scoring list with seven goals
•    The French side launch a counter attack avalanche in the second half with 10/11 efficiency

Montpellier HB (FRA) vs TATRAN Presov (SVK) 28:23 (14:14)

Captain missed

TATRAN captain and one of the defensive pillars of the team Radovan Pekar did not travel to France because of an injury to his left hand. His absence was a blow for the Slovakian side, and was particularly apparent in the second half.

Presov will need to improve their defence if they are to play close matches against their fellow Group C competitors.  

Tactical masterclass

Montpellier coach Patrice Canayer changed goalkeepers at half-time, bringing in new transfer Nikola Portner for Vincent Gerard.  

The coach also swapped his defensive system between 5-1 and 6-0 to build on the momentum and pull in front of the visitors.

The French team scored important goals from counter attacks, making the most of TATRAN’s technical faults, while Canayer continued changing players throughout the match using most of his deep squad.

"The first match is always awkward, but we deserved our victory," said Canayer. "We want to get beyond the Last 16 this season, so we need to be more efficient in attack and move up to the next level."

Low second-half efficiency

Oliver Rabek was the top goal scorer for TATRAN with six goals, but the Slovakian team had big problems with efficiency in second half.

Their problems were caused mainly by a lack of wing play and low efficiency from the back court due to the strong performance of Montpellier’s goalkeepers.

Montpellier demonstrated great tactical variety compared to TATRAN, leading them to a comfortable win at the final whistle.

TEXT: Tomas Cuncik / cg