ARSENAL (5) VS SHAKHTAR DONETSK (1)
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger preached caution after seeing his side take a firm grip of Group H with a record-breaking drubbing of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Alex Song, Samir Nasri, fit-again Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Marouane Chamakh all netted as the Gunners trampled over the Ukrainian champions. So dominant were the home side that they could afford to cheer even when ex-Emirates star Eduardo volleyed a late consolation for the visitors. Victory continued Arsenal’s perfect start and took their tally to 14 goals in just three games – a new record for the competition.
But Wenger said: “Let’s not deduce too much, we have shown good quality but it is just the start, let’s continue to improve. I am cautious because as soon as you lose urgency your level drops dramatically.”
Captain Fabregas started his first game after a month out with a hamstring injury and marked the occasion with the third goal, a penalty after Johan Djourou was felled. The Spaniard’s midfield partnership with Wilshere unravelled Shakhtar, and the teenager also capped his performance by clipping the fourth after a one-two with Tomas Rosicky. Wenger added: “I am convinced [Fabregas and Wilshere] work well together. The midfield worked very well tonight.”
Song put Wenger’s charges in front after 19 minutes when he capitalised on an awful fumble by goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov to flick home. Song then laid on the second just before half-time, his cross falling to Nasri, who lashed home. After the break Fabregas and Wilshere underlined Arsenal’s superiority and Chamakh netted the third of a 10-minute spell when he beat the offside trap and prodded past Pyatov. With confidence boosted for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City, Arsenal could afford to concede, especially to the ever-popular Eduardo, who left in August.