Jack Wilshere insists Arsenal’s promising season will not be allowed to fall apart following a home defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League — with the team ready to show just what they are capable at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Gunners had looked good value for a share of the spoils from the Group F encounter after recovering from a slow start — Henrikh Mkhitaryan put the Germans ahead — to level before the break through Olivier Giroud.
Indeed, if a sublime 20-yard curling effort from Santi Cazorla had flown just a couple of inches lower instead of crashing off the angle, Arsenal may well have recorded a hard-earned victory.
However, Arsene Wenger’s side were left with the disappointing taste of defeat for only the second time this season when Robert Lewandowski — fortunate to still be on the pitch after earlier catching Laurent Koscielny with a stray elbow — converted following a clinical counter-attack in the 82nd minute.
Napoli’s victory over whipping-boys Marseille leaves three teams now locked on six points and Arsenal now face a tough trip to Dortmund in a fortnight, where another loss would put their qualification hopes for the knockout stages in serious jeopardy.
Wilshere, though, insists Wenger’s men have the strength of character to pick themselves up and go again when the English Premier League leaders head to bottom club Crystal Palace for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
Wilshere said: “It is never nice to lose at home, but it is not the end of the world. We can’t let this result affect us now, especially in the Premier League where we are on a great run. It will be tough away at Palace, they will fight for every ball and it will be a different game from Dortmund, but we still have to bounce back straight away.”
Wilshere accepts Arsenal had been “nervous” during the opening exchanges against Jurgen Klopp’s side, but sees no reason why they should not be get a positive result at Signal Iduna Park, where they drew 1-1 in September 2011 after being within two minutes of victory. “We know what we have to do now,” the England midfielder said.
“We aim to win every game, and it will be tough, but we have been to Dortmund before and were unlucky not to win on the night.” — PA Sport
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