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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 19, 2009

Toure: Young Gunners will learn from loss

Kolo Toure believes Arsenal's youngsters can only get stronger from the experiences of their Wembley FA Cup semi-final heartbreak against Chelsea.

The Gunners - forced to field a makeshift defence - came off second best against a determined Blues side, driven on by England midfielder Frank Lampard who turned in a man-of-the-match display.

It had, though, been a positive start from Arsene Wenger's side, who took the lead through Theo Walcott's strike on 18 minutes.

However, that was as good as it got for Arsenal, with Florent Malouda equalising before half-time and then, just six minutes from time, Didier Drogba sealing a return to Wembley for Chelsea on May 30 as he capitalised on a rush of blood from Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski, who endured a 24th birthday to forget.

Toure, however, believes such trials can serve to galvanise players for the challenges ahead.

"You can only learn from these types of games, because they are so intense," said the 28-year-old centre-back.

"When you make some mistakes, they can cost you, which is what happened against Chelsea.

"We will just have to try not to do that again."

Toure is the last remaining regular from Wenger's Invincibles side which went undefeated for the entire 2003/2004 campaign.

The Ivory Coast defender, though, feels the latest generation of promising talent can go on to fulfil their undoubted potential.

"This can be just the start for this team, because there are some really good players coming through," said Toure.

"The season started really badly, but we have come back very well.

"We hope to keep going now and improve the way we are playing."

Arsenal still have plenty to focus on during the closing weeks of the campaign.

Wenger takes his men to Anfield on Tuesday looking to extend their unbeaten Premier League run from 18 matches with a victory which would both dent Liverpool's title hopes and cement Arsenal's place in the top four.

Toure believes having such an important match so quickly in what is a hectic month ahead will help quickly consign their Wembley defeat to history.

"The good thing is that we only have a couple of days to get this loss off our back," he said.

"We will head to Liverpool on Tuesday and look to get the three points.

"Our target is now the league and Europe. We will stay focused for that.

"We just have to put all this to the back now and focus on the next game."

Arsenal will hope full-back Bacary Sagna can have shaken off the virus which ruled him out of the last two matches to be fit to travel to Liverpool.

However, leading scorer Robin van Persie, replaced in the second half at Wembley, will be assessed after appearing to aggravate his groin problem.

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