Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas admits he was deliberately targeted by Standard Liege players during last night's 3-2 win.

He said: "In the first few minutes it is always possible you don't start at your best and that is what happened but we responded well as a team.

"We knew we had the whole game in front of us and that can make a difference. So it was not difficult to keep believing."

Fabregas also believes he paid the price for being too honest as Arsenal fell behind to two early goals in the first five minutes last night.

The Spaniard claims he was fouled in the build-up to Standard's first goal but chose not to go down injured as he feared he would be labelled a cheat.

He said: "It's true that they have hit me two times in the face. Maybe I am very small and they are very big but they always catch me on the face. But if you go down, they say that you cheat so you try to be nice and stay on your feet.

"But after I got caught they scored a goal. Sometimes this happens in football."

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