Jack Wilshere was left to bemoan another slow start as Arsenal's Champions League hopes were left hanging by a thread on Tuesday night.
Arsène Wenger's side lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their last-16 tie at Emirates Stadium and, although the German giants are clearly a class act, Arsenal ruffled their feathers with a second-half response before a scrappy Mario Mandzukic goal secured Bayern’s victory.
Arsenal have had to come from behind in a number of high-profile fixtures since the turn of the year - rescuing a point against Liverpool but losing to Chelsea and Manchester City - and Wilshere admits that is a concern.
We’ve started games poorly over the last couple of months and we’ve been punishedJack Wilshere
"We’re disappointed," he told Arsenal Player. "We started the second half really well and it’s a shame that we couldn’t do that in the first half. We started the second half well, had a chance to make it 2-2, and then they went down the other end and made it 3-1 so it makes it difficult for us.
"We questioned ourselves in the first half and the first 10 minutes but we showed that when we step up and really play, we can. We just have to have a bit more self-belief. We’ve started games poorly over the last couple of months and we’ve been punished. If you start poorly against a team like that, you’re going to get punished."
Bayern will be firm favourites to finish the job in the Allianz Arena in two weeks' time but Wilshere is adamant that Arsenal have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
"It’s never over," he said. "We play for Arsenal, we can’t give things up at a big club like this. We’ve got a couple of weeks until the next game [against Bayern]. We need to recover, get a couple of wins in the Premier League and you never know what can happen.
"If we score an early goal and get another one, they’re up against it. We’re not 100 per cent out of it. It’s going to be difficult but we’re not out of it yet.
"We know that if we can take the game to them, we can score a couple of goals. You saw last year that AC Milan started to get worried [when Arsenal came back from 4-0 down to trail 4-3 on aggregate]. Bayern are a good team though. It will be difficult but we’ve got to believe."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Feb 2013