Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side’s stunning comeback victory over Standard Liege in the Champions League could prove vital for their season.
The Gunners went 2-0 down within five minutes in Belgium, but hit back late on to win the Group H opener 3-2.
After back-to-back Premier League defeats, Wenger was aware that a further defeat could undermine the spirit within his side.
“When you’re at a big club, you cannot afford to have too many defeats on the trot,” he said.
“After being 2-0 down, this will strengthen belief within the group.
“We were caught cold by a team who were really ready and started out of the blocks at full power.
“Standard gave absolutely everything. They played like it was a cup final, with full commitment – and they deserve a lot of credit.
“When you go 2-0 down after five minutes, you know you have a big task in front of you. To win away from home in the Champions League and score three goals will always be tough.
“You are in a position where you have to attack with full power, without restriction, and know that the next goal will kill you.
“We could not afford to concede a third goal but had to try to come back to 2-1 at least before half-time – which is what we did,” Wenger continued.
“In the second half, the game dropped a bit in physical intensity. When they got tired, we got some set-pieces and took advantage.”
And the Frenchman admitted it was “inevitable” Eduardo would have a say in the match having been cleared to play after his two-match European suspension was overturned this week.
“It is always inevitable with Eduardo,” said Wenger. “He was caught out on the first goal but he is a guy who can always turn up on crosses because he has that anticipation.”
Meanwhile, Liege coach Laszlo Boloni was disappointed that his side surrendered the initiative after taking the early lead.
“We started very well, but were not strong enough mentally to continue the same way in the second half,” he said. “We sat back in midfield, so all the pressure was too much for us.
“Arsenal had good help from the referee at their second goal – two players were offside and there was also a handball.
“This was the moment when they got more motivation and we lost ours, but the biggest problem was we have to play better.”