Jack Wilshere thrilled with Arsenal progress
Jack Wilshere insists Arsenal can dump favourites Barcelona out of the Champions League to prolong the most enjoyable spell of his life.
Wilshere was among the Gunners' star performers in last night's 2-1 round of 16 first leg victory over the Spanish champions at Emirates Stadium.
The 19-year-old's impressive display came just a week after winning plaudits for a fine full England debut.
Victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the second leg on March 8 would continue a stellar period and Wilshere scents revenge following last season's quarter-final exit.
"It's been a great couple of weeks, the best couple of weeks of my life," he said.
"Now we've got something to hold on to in the tie. Last year against Barcelona we finished 2-2 at home.
"This year it's 2-1 and we have a chance. If we got a goal over there, we will see what happens.
"We have to go to the Nou Camp and show our character."
Barcelona were magnificent at times during the first half and should have entered the interval with more that a solitary David Villa strike.
But the tide turned as the favourites faded, enabling Arsenal to stage a thrilling fightback with goals by Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin.
Barcelona took all their household names to north London with Messi, Villa, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez on display, only to be undone by Arsenal's perseverance.
"I watched Spain in the World Cup and they were the best team there, so I knew a bit about them before the game," said Wilshere.
"But once you get into the game, you get used to them.
"There was a spell in the first half where for about 20 minutes we didn't touch the ball. But we knew they were going to do that.
"We just had to keep our shape and in the second half, we knew we could hit them on the counter-attack.
"We had to go up a level in the second half and we passed it around better. We had to carry on playing the Arsenal way."
Villa remains convinced Barcelona are the better team.
"We played a good game and created a lot of chances," said the Spain striker.
"But we were up against a great team in Arsenal who caught us on two counter attacks and hurt us.
"We were the better team, but there's still 90 minutes to go and we can save ourselves in that time."
Latest in Sport
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Six things we learnt: Louis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United; Henderson becoming the genuine heir to Gerrard
Terminally-ill Club Brugge fan Lorenzo Schoonbaert delays euthanasia appointment to see his beloved football club 'win one last time'
Steven Gerrard tribute match: An alternative XI the Liverpool player wouldn't want crashing the Anfield party
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 4 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin