Great result Arsenal, just what we needed

By Avenell Dave

Remember that game last season where we lost at home to Hull City?

We were cruising when we took out foot off the accelerator and found ourselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

This season, two terrible mistakes cost us victory at M*nure and we were too gung-ho at Citeh when we dragged ourselves level at the City of Manchester Stadium.

We've picked up momentum since then, thankfully having a home game straight after the international break which makes such a difference when domestic football returns.

But there was a sense on Saturday after scoring our second goal that the old enemies of arrogance and inexperience were rearing their ugly heads again.

So in control were we that we relaxed a little - and the place to do that is in the dressing room, not on the pitch.

So too last night, regardless of AZ's terrible run of form, there was a game to be won and yet the hosts' equaliser was nothing if not predictable.

You can point the finger at Abou Diaby for failing to win the first header (having already almost scored his second own goal of the season minutes earlier); you can point it at whoever gave away a free kick in the last minute.

You can certainly criticise the referee for failing to give a nailed-on penalty for the foul on Carlos Vela in the box.

Thinking positively, it says much about the side that, even without Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, Eduardo, Nick Bendtner and Samir Nasri, we still have such a wealth of attacking options and cause such a threat to opponents.

I got the feeling last night that Andrey Arshavin, perhaps mindful that he didn't have as much top class attacking support, wanted to win the game on his own.

For the first time in an Arsenal shirt, he was a little bit too selfish, a bit too keen to take chances on his own when there were better placed players after he had created space and time.

But too many players took the game too easily and although we probably deserved victory, AZ also had their chances even before the late equaliser.

It's far better to concede a late goal that denies us victory in a match where a draw is not disastrous than in the knockout stages at home or even in the Premier League where every point matters.

Let last night be a wake-up call to everyone who puts on an Arsenal shirt that we have to fight and compete until the whistle is blown if we are to fulfill the obvious potential this team has.

Arsenal are still top of the group, we have (I hope) no real injury worries following the game and a win in a fortnight will probably see us through to the knockout stages that have not looked in doubt since we won in Liege.

The future looks bright - and from where I am sitting, it will look even brighter if we learn lessons from last night's meaningless disappointment.