Arsenal slip up in the Champions League

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Ex Gunner Eduardo in great form for Shakhtar Donetsk

An under strength Arsenal side lost 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk last night. Before this game, Arsenal looked like qualifying from this group in top place but Shakhtar had other plans. They were up against an Arsenal side, who had scored 14 goals in their three previous matches in the Champions League. Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Andrey Arshavin (virus), Denilson (groin) and Alex Song (calf) did not travel with the team to Ukraine.

Arsenal started the game well and scored as early as the 10th minute when Jack Wilshere’s long pass to Walcott found Shakhtar napping. The in-form Theo Walcott ran half the length of the pitch and scored with an easy side foot finish from outside the area. In light of injuries to Alex Song and Denilson, 19 year old Craig Eastmond was handed his European debut which proved to be a nightmare for him. The young lad failed to mark Dmytro Chygrynskiy during a set-piece who headed the ball which was turned into his own net by Eastmond.
Ex Gunner Eduardo, who scored a consolation goal at Emirates a fortnight ago, scored a winner this time around after a mistake from Gael Clichy who failed to clear the ball at the end of the first half. As at Emirates, Eduardo did not celebrate his goal.

“I always want to score goals and I was happy tonight, it was special,” said the Brazilian-born Croatian footballer .

“I’m happy because it was the winning goal. We scored at a good time, in the last minute of the first half. That gave us a big confidence and we played very well in the second half. “

It was Arsenal’s first defeat after five straight wins. Arsenal are still favorites to top the group with an easy fixture against Partizan Belgrade at home and an away trip to Braga which might prove to be somewhat difficult. According to Arsene Wenger, his team lost concentration and were a bit unlucky yesterday. He said,

“Congratulations to Donetsk, they played well and won the game. We had a good start but after we lost our urgency and let Donetsk come into the game too much. We lost concentration in the duels and you could see what was coming towards half time. We were a bit unlucky. We have learnt the lesson that at this level you can’t lose focus at any moment and that is why we were punished.”

Arsenal are the only English team not to win on Matchday 4 of the Champions League. A disappointing day for the Gunners but one bad result isn’t the end of the world. Arsenal host Newcastle United on Sunday in the Premier League.


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