Thomas Vermaelen points out Arsenal 'still have something to play for', following Champions League exit to Bayern Munich

The Gunners remain in the Premier League title race and are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup

Captain Thomas Vermaelen maintains Arsenal must not let the disappointment of their Champions League exit in Bayern Munich derail the rest of the domestic campaign.

The Gunners drew 1-1 at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, a late penalty save from goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski ensuring the Gunners at least avoided a second successive defeat against the Germans as they bowed out of Europe 3-1 on aggregate.

However, unlike the scenario when beaten by Bayern at the same stage of the competition 12 months ago, Arsenal's season is still very much alive.

Manager Arsene Wenger will take his squad - set to be without injured midfielder Mesut Ozil as his hamstring strain is assessed - to Tottenham on Sunday looking to close back up on Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea.

In April, Arsenal will tackle Sky Bet Championship side Wigan at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals, with Hull and League Two Sheffield United the other teams left in the competition.

Vermaelen said: "The result (against Bayern) wasn't great for us to go through, but you always need to take the positives out of it.

"We worked hard and that is what you need, the spirit in the team is very good.

"We are still up there in the Premier League, we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, you can feel the desire in the team that there is still something to play for."

Vermaelen understands Arsenal will be expected to progress through to the FA Cup final, despite Wigan, the holders, having knocked out Manchester City.

"We can't deny that we are the favourites anymore because we are the highest Premier League team, but this is the FA Cup - there is something special about it," the Belgian defender said.

"Wigan go to Man City and knock them out, we got knocked out last year by Blackburn Rovers, who play in the Championship, so we know what we have to do.

"We are the favourites and we have to act like that to get a good result."

Vermaelen was deployed at left-back against Bayern following injury to Kieran Gibbs.

It has been a difficult season for the Gunners captain, who has seen his first-team opportunities limited by a combination of niggling fitness problems as well as the form of regular centre-back pairing Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny,

The 28-year-old, though, intends to continue to work hard at earning his place in the starting XI again.

"It is not easy, but I try to stay positive," he said.

"Firstly, I have been injured in the last couple of weeks, but when the boss needs me, I try to play well.

"I know anything can happen, so I am happy to play when he needs me.

"From my point of view, I hope it is as much as it can be. I work hard for the team and that is the only thing that I can do."

Vermaelen is hoping to be part of the Belgian World Cup squad this summer. The former Ajax defender has, though, found himself linked with a move away from Arsenal given his circumstances on the fringes of the side.

"There has been a lot of speculation, but I can't talk about it because I don't know what is going on," he said.

"My focus is at Arsenal at the moment. There is still a lot to play for - I can't do anything about rumours."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
News
peopleSwimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
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.

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style