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Wenger: Shakhtar punished Arsenal complacency

Arsène Wenger admitted his Arsenal FC team had been taught a valuable lesson after losing 2-1 to an FC Shakhtar Donetsk side they defeated 5-1 a fortnight ago.

Wenger: Shakhtar punished Arsenal complacency
Wenger: Shakhtar punished Arsenal complacency ©UEFA.com

FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu was delighted after his side's 2-1 victory at home to Arsenal FC helped draw a line under their 5-1 defeat in north London a fortnight ago. It taught the English visitors "a lesson" according to Arsène Wenger, whose team are now level with the Ukrainian champions at the top of Group H.

Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
It is a very important victory, one which I expected. I said before the game that the result in London would have no bearing and that was borne out. We played well in the first half, save for [Theo] Walcott's goal – it was difficult to cope with his pace. I liked the players' reaction: they responded immediately and did not take their foot off the gas even when we squanderer three or four chances. We utilised the counterattack more in the second period but still we were far more dangerous than Arsenal.

We needed the points, but the most important thing today was to demonstrate that we are not the team that struggled in London: we are on a par with Arsenal. Nothing is decided yet in our group: we just need to play like we did today in the last two games.

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
We were punished against a good team. It was a good lesson for us tonight because we thought we could get through without putting in 100% and focus on the defensive situations. In the second half we gave a lot to try and get back into the game and we were a bit unlucky with our finishing. We had the chances but couldn't take them.

We were 1-0 up and looked comfortable but slowly our urgency dropped and we were punished because they have good players. You could see on the crosses that nobody attacked the ball and they created chances from that. It is a missed opportunity [to qualify], of course. It showed a lack of maturity that we didn't focus 100% on our approach before half-time. We had 20 minutes today when we weren't completely sharp and we were punished.