Arteta - FA Cup crucial for Arsenal
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says the importance of winning the FA Cup is "much bigger" now following Tuesday's disappointing 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Aston Villa.
The Gunners went into the clash in the Midlands requiring a victory to keep themselves in the hunt for a Europa League finish and they were expected to get the job done against a Villa side scrapping for their top-flight status.
However, Arsenal, who had beaten Liverpool and Manchester City in their last two outings prior to the clash, produced a lacklustre performance and they were punished by Villa, who grabbed all three points to move out of the bottom three on goal difference thanks to Trezeguet's first-half strike.
The defeat means Arteta's men can't finish higher than eighth in the standings, their worst finish since 1995, and the club's hopes of European football now rest on them beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final on August 1.
When asked about the league position and how important the FA Cup final is now, Arteta said: "I don't think the league table lies. At the end of the day, you can see the gap and the difference in points with other teams. It's where we are.
"(The FA Cup) Much bigger because it gives us a chance to win a title and qualify for Europe, obviously."
Arsenal are 3.75 to win the FA Cup in 90 minutes, a draw is priced at 3.50 while Chelsea are 2.00 to triumph in normal time at Wembley.
The Gunners will be aiming to lift the FA Cup for a record-extending 14th time, while the Blues are looking for a ninth tournament success and their first trophy under Frank Lampard.
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