Shakhtar vs Arsenal Preview

Shakhtar vs Arsenal Preview


Coach Mircea Lucescu says Europe will see the real Shakhtar Donetsk when they try to avenge their 5-1 trashing at Arsenal.
The Gunners chalked up a record 14 goals from their opening three Group H games, with Shakhtar going the same way as Braga and Partizan Belgrade as Arsene Wenger's side took control of Group H.
Another positive result for Arsenal, who will be without skipper Cesc Fabregas because of a hamstring problem, and the Barclays Premier League club could secure their place in the last 16 of Europe's elite once again.
However, since the thrashing in north London, Shakhtar have won all three of their domestic matches, without conceding a goal.
Arsenal have yet to record a victory in Ukraine, and with the Minors boasting an impressive record of only two defeats of their last 30 matches in all competitions, Lucescu believes his men can head into tomorrow's return fixture at Donbass Arena with some confidence.
"After analysing all the technical and tactical actions, I can say that the teams had about the same of the ball, 51% to 49%, and the passing also were about the same level," the Romanian said.
"We hope to show to our fans and the whole of Europe that now it will be a quite different Shakhtar.
"We have analysed the game that was in London to draw attention to the mistakes."
Lucescu added: "Not in any way do I think that Arsenal is stronger than Shakhtar. We will try tomorrow to demonstrate that on the field."
Arsenal never looked back after being gifted an early goal following a terrible fumble by Shakhtar keeper Andrei Pyatov.
However, Lucescu continues to lament a number of decisions by Swedish referee Svein Moen which he felt went in favour of the home side.
Swiss official Massimo Busacca, who took charge of the 2009 Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona, will be the man in the middle tomorrow night.
"I hope that tomorrow will be valid and neutral refereeing, which will help football in general. We will try to fulfil their responsibilities on the field," said Lucescu.
"The mistakes of the referee in favour of Arsenal were clearly visible.
"The third goal was not a penalty, the players pulled shirts together - and it should have been a red card for a hard [Jack] Wilshere reception against [Tomas] Hubschman.
"After three games, Arsenal has one card, while the rest of the teams have seven or eight. That says something.
"Therefore, we should double or triple our efforts to be at the level of this team or even higher."
Arsenal boss Wenger, meanwhile, is expecting a stern examination tomorrow night.
"I expect Shakhtar Donetsk to have a reaction of course and a response from that heavy defeat," he said.
"They are a better side than what they have shown at the Emirates. For me they are one of the best European sides.
"On the other hand we have a good opportunity to qualify straight away and finish top of the group and you want to take that chance.
"I believe as well we want to confirm that we are stepping up a gear from game to game and that we are capable of being consistent and that is what is at stake for us."
Wenger added: "I will remind the players Shakhtar is a strong side that we perhaps caught on a good day for us at Emirates.
"They will have been hurt by what happened, and at home, they will be a completely different team.
"If you let them get into a flow, they can cause you many problems. We will make sure we are well aware of that."



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