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Eduardo extols Shakhtar performance

Eduardo said FC Shakhtar Donetsk are a club "moving in the right direction" after his winner against Arsenal FC gave the Pitmen a share of the lead in UEFA Champions League Group H.

Eduardo's first-half goal proved decisive for Shakhtar
Eduardo's first-half goal proved decisive for Shakhtar ©Getty Images

Two weeks after scoring a consolation in his team's 5-1 loss at Arsenal FC, FC Shakhtar Donetsk forward Eduardo popped up with a goal of far greater significance which condemned his former club to their first UEFA Champions League defeat of the season.

The 2-1 Group H reverse left the Gunners, who would have qualified had they won, level on nine points with a Shakhtar side now in with a great chance of reaching the knockout stage for the first time in their history. "The most important thing is that we won; it was a special game for us," said Eduardo. "It was very hard and Arsenal played well but we got the victory."

Eduardo's strike in first-half added time proved the winner, completing a fine comeback after Dmytro Chygrynskiy's header had cancelled out Theo Walcott's tenth-minute opener. The writing may have been on the wall for the hosts following Walcott's solo effort and their hammering in London, so with that in mind Eduardo was understandably "pleased with the character" Shakhtar showed.

"It's very hard to come back when you are losing against a team like Arsenal because they are very strong on the counterattack," the Croatian international said. "We took a big risk to try and score the equaliser, and our timing when we scored the first and second goals was perfect."

Much of Shakhtar's success was built around their attacking quartet of Brazilians, who caused the Arsenal defence all manner of problems with their pace, movement and trickery. This, says Eduardo, shows the Ukrainian Premier League leaders can mix it with the best. "We have a great team," explained the 27-year-old. "Our players are technically very good and we have many Brazilians like Jadson, Willian and [Luiz] Adriano who like to keep the ball on the pitch and play. Shakhtar are a football club definitely moving in the right direction."

Arsenal threw men forward in a desperate attempt to rescue a point but, despite prolonged pressure, they rarely threatened Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, whose opposite number Łukasz Fabiański rued a "poor first-half performance". "We didn't play well in the first half, like we would have wanted, and I think that's the reason we conceded those two goals," said the Polish international. "In the second half they were concentrating on keeping their lead and they defended well."