Forget Bayern, we MUST beat Swansea, says Arteta

Emirate's stadium. Image: Henry Kirby
Emirate's stadium. Image: Henry Kirby
Emirate’s stadium. Image: Henry Kirby

They may have just beaten Bayern Munich in Germany but Mikel Arteta’s message to his Arsenal teammates was clear: we have to beat Swansea.

The Spanish playmaker was proud of the way the Gunners went about inflicting Bayern’s first defeat since October but he stressed they need to keep the momentum going.

“We gave absolutely everything and I’m proud of the boys because it’s not easy to get a result like that there,” he said.

“The way the lads stood out tonight when everyone was writing us off before the game shows a lot of desire.

“Lets get a good result on Saturday again – because we need it.”

Arsenal need a victory at the Liberty Stadium at the weekend if they are to have any chance of a rematch against the Germans next season.

They currently trail 4th-placed Chelsea by five points and 3rd-placed Tottenham by seven with 10 games to go. Every dropped point will make it even harder to squeeze into the Champions League qualifying places.

They are not the only ones still chasing those spots either – the two Merseyside clubs are only a couple of points behind Arsenal and fighting hard.

With another trophyless season imminent and a 7th-placed finish not out of the question, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has come under heavy criticism this season.

However, Arteta singled out the Frenchman for keeping spirits high among the players before the game.

“To be honest he’s been very positive, he kept believing that we could do it and we very nearly did,” he said.

And Wenger defiantly defended his players, insisting that they gave it everything they could.

“I know these players, they have a fantastic attitude and spirit,” he said. “We have the quality but unfortunately we have to go out of the Champions League.”

Image: Ronnie MacDonald
Mikel Arteta’s message to his Arsenal teammates was clear: we have to beat Swansea. Image: Ronnie MacDonald

The worry for Arsenal is that these ‘nearly’ moments are becoming the norm, as they leave themselves with too much to do.

Last year in the Champions League, a 3-0 victory over Milan at the Emirates went some way to glossing over a 4-0 thumping at the San Siro.

And last night’s triumph won’t make the fans forget how awful the Gunners were in the first leg against Bayern.

In the Premier League, Arsenal no longer terrorise defences in the way they did a few years ago.

Arteta and Wenger will be hoping that Arsenal do not fall short in the remainder of the season, as they seek the top four finish that will bring some much-needed respite to the Emirates.