DONETSK - Eduardo da Silva refused
to celebrate after scoring the winner in Shakhtar Donetsk's 2-1
comeback win over Arsenal to put the brakes on his former club's
Champions League campaign.
The Brazilian-born striker, who joined Shakhtar from Arsenal
in the close season, was mobbed by his team mates after striking
just before the interval but kept his head down while home fans
ignored near freezing conditions to celebrate bare-chested.
GEAR: Save £10.95 on shirt printing when you buy a Champions League team's top with Kitbag
His goal condemned the English club to their first Group H
defeat and denied them the opportunity to qualify for the
knockout round with two games to spare.
"It is a missed opportunity of course," Arsenal manager
Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports.
"The hardest thing to do in a big game is score the first
goal and that is what we did but then I think it's a lack of
maturity not to focus 100 percent and get caught just before
LIVE: Minute-by-minute coverage as it happened
Speedy striker Theo Walcott stunned the Ukrainian champions
10 minutes into the game when he raced through Shakhtar's half
and caught keeper Andriy Pyatov napping with a low strike into
the far corner.
The home side equalised 18 minutes later when Dmytro
Chygrynskiy's header was slightly deflected by Arsenal defender
Craig Eastmond into his own net and Eduardo's strike brought a
near capacity 50,000-strong home crowd, including Ukrainian
President Viktor Yanukovich, to their feet.
Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna won the ball from Gael Clichy
on the right and found his Croatia international team mate
unmarked in the Arsenal penalty area, with Eduardo calmly
slotting home a low cross.
"We thought we could get through without 100 percent focus
on every defensive situation," said Wenger.
"In the second half we gave a lot to come back into the game
and were a bit unlucky with the finishing but they were
intelligent as well and that explains why we couldn't come back.
We had the chances but we could not take them."
The win put Shakhtar level with Arsenal on nine points from
four matches but the Gunners still lead Group H on a better
head-to-head record after thrashing the Ukrainians 5-1 in their
first meeting in London two weeks ago.
In a fast-paced game, chances went begging for both sides.
Shakhtar's Brazilian midfielder Jadson twice wasted great
opportunities shortly after Walcott's strike, first hitting a
defender with the goal at his mercy then, just a few seconds
later, heading against the post.
Arsenal, already without several key players including
skipper Cesc Fabregas and forward Andrei Arshavin through injury
and illness, could have also lost Nicklas Bendtner late in the
first half. However, the Denmark striker was able to return
after shaking off an ankle sprain.
The visitors piled on the pressure from the start of the
second half. Jack Wilshere missed a golden chance to draw the
visitors level shortly after the break but he failed to take
advantage of a Shakhtar defensive mistake, firing wide of the
goal with only Pyatov to beat.
Pyatov then made several fine saves, first denying Sebastien
Squillaci with a point-blank header, then stopping Tomas
Rosicky's low drive from inside the box.
Substitute Carlos Vela
missed Arsenal's last big chance with five minutes remaining
when he fired straight at Pyatov from close range.
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010