SHAKHTAR 2 v/s ARSENAL 1
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger blasted his side’s sloppiness after former Gunners striker Eduardo came back to haunt his old team by scoring the winner in Ukraine.
The north Londoners looked on course to end a miserable run in the former Soviet Union when forward Theo Walcott put them ahead after just 10 minutes.
But Wenger’s decision to rest some big names for the long trip backfired when teenage midfielder Craig Eastmond headed into his own net before the half hour.
And his misery was completed on the stroke of half-time when Eduardo, sold in the summer, reminded the Frenchman of his qualities with a clinical finish.
It denied Arsenal the point they needed to guarantee progress from Group H and hoisted Shakhtar level with the Gunners on nine points.
“We had a good start but after we lost our urgency and let Donetsk come into the game too much,” said Wenger. “We have learnt the lesson that at this level you can’t lose focus at any moment and that is why we were punished.”
Eduardo’s Arsenal career was wrecked by injuries and he remains a popular figure with their fans, but Wenger conceded his own magnanimity only went so far.
“I don’t take much pleasure from seeing him score in this particular game but it’s good to see him playing at that level,” he added.
The recalled Jack Wilshere released Walcott to scamper clear and slot the opening goal past a flat-footed Andriy Pyatov.
But Shakhtar were soon swarming all over the Gunners and defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy forced an equaliser when his header went in off Eastmond. The home side took the lead when Darijo Srna dispossessed Gael Clichy and crossed for Eduardo, who refused to celebrate his winner.
Van Persie call-up set to ignite row
ARSENAL are on course for a club versus country row with Holland chiefs after injured Robin van Persie was named in Bert van Marwijk’s squad for the friendly against Turkey on 17 November. Arsene Wenger said: “He has not played with us, not trained and I am surprised that he has been selected.”