Arsenal lifting the FA Cup can be a 'turning point' for the club says Mikel Arteta, and Bayern Munich loss can be the springboard

Spaniard targets Premier League and FA Cup glory after Champions League exit in Germany

As they left the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, the mood among those Arsenal players who lingered to talk was that, when it came, the endgame to their Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich was not as brutal as it might have been.

For Mesut Özil, who scarcely looked up from the two mobile phones he was carrying as he made his way out, his was the worst personal outcome given his ineffective first half and subsequent hamstring injury.

For many of his team-mates, a 1-1 draw on the night represented a dignified bowing out compared to what might have been at a club who had not previously been limited to one goal at home since 28 September.

"Every team that has come here recently has been battered 5-0 or 6-0," Mikel Arteta said, "so that's the last thing you want with the experience we had a couple of weeks ago at Liverpool. I think it's encouraging. I think the second-half performance was very good. We can take a lot of positives from that. And the way we keep them pretty quiet as well. Those [Bayern] players..."

He trailed off to remind himself that there were positives, although he left you in no doubt that it is not just those who watch the current Bayern team from the stands who hold the class of 2014 in a certain awe.

Having been eliminated from a competition that they had little realistic hope of winning, Arsenal's focus narrows upon their two last prospects of success – and one in particular in which they are the runaway favourites.

Asked what winning the FA Cup would mean to Arsenal, Arteta's answer was blunt – and this from a man who has only been around for two of their eight seasons without a trophy. "I think it would be a turning point for the club," he said. "Because for such a long time we haven't won anything. It gives you a lift, gives you belief that you can start to go in the right direction and hopefully we can do it.

"You're right that we have a great chance. There is still a month to go until the semi-final and some really tough games coming up. That's why it is important to get some momentum for that moment and get there with the belief and in good form."

Once more, Arsenal find themselves at a crossroads in their season. They are within touching distance of their first trophy in what would be nine years and in a strong position in the league. But they have injuries too, to Özil now, as well as those already out: Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey among them.

The burden of European football is gone but they are also stretched after a January transfer window in which they were not strengthened beyond the injured Kim Kallstrom.

On Sunday they face Tottenham with the benefit of two nights' extra rest over their old enemies, who play Benfica tonight. It could yet prove to be a pivotal game at White Hart Lane for both teams.

It was there little more than a year ago that Arsenal lost 2-1 to Spurs before winning 2-0 in Munich (but losing the tie) and then embarked on a season-saving unbeaten run that saw them claim fourth place on the last day.

This time around they have to play away at Spurs, Chelsea and Everton – as well as face Swansea and Manchester City at home – before they play Wigan Athletic at Wembley on 12 April.

Beyond the FA Cup semi-final, the remaining league games of the season are looking much kinder to Wenger's players. Should they still be in the top four by the time they face Wigan, it would be difficult to see them being dislodged from the Champions League places.

It is not inconceivable that Arsenal could yet mount a challenge for the league title, although it is evident where their best chance of a trophy lies. "We have two competitions that we are still in," Arteta said. "We want to fight for the league and we have a great chance in the FA Cup as well. So we need to enjoy the moment and make the most of it because I think we can do something good. We know we are favourites at the moment [for the Cup]. We know that puts more pressure on us"

Last season, the win in Munich was the launch-pad for Arsenal's recovery, from being fifth and five points off fourth place. This year, their form has been much more stable in the league but it is the potential for success in the FA Cup that the club cannot afford to squander.

Bayern face sanction over banners

Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bayern Munich for discriminatory behaviour by supporters during Tuesday night's Champions League match with Arsenal, and for the display of an "illicit banner" by fans.

One banner seen at the match referred to the campaign to have Kosovo officially recognised by Fifa. The other contained offensive words and images directed towards Arsenal.

Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia six years ago, is not a member of Fifa or Uefa but is allowed to play friendlies against other nations provided no national symbols, including flags, are displayed or anthems played.

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence