Arsene Wenger hopes his young Arsenal side will have learned a hard lesson in European football after they allowed Shakhtar Donetsk to fight back and win their Champions League Group H clash at Donbass Arena Wednesday night.
Theo Walcott had slotted home a fine breakaway goal after 10 minutes for Arsenal, who were without captain Cesc Fabregas. However, Shakhtar - trashed 5-1 at Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago - responded well and an own-goal from Craig Eastmond drew them level before former Gunner Eduardo struck on the stroke of half-time.
"We have learned the lesson that at this level you cannot lose focus at any moment and that is why we were punished. But we are still in a strong position in the group," said Wenger.
"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.
"I felt we moved out of the game altogether and moved into the game altogether, so it was more of a team problem, a kind of complacency problem more than an individual problem.
"In the second half we came back into the game and gave a lot, you cannot fault the team, and we were a bit unlucky."
Wenger challenged his side to maintain their battles on all fronts.
"At the moment we are not in a position where we can choose - we have to fight," the Arsenal manager said.
"We have a difficult league game on Sunday against Newcastle. We will win what we can and not choose too much."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms