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We have to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup, midfielder says

By Wayne Veysey at Nou Camp

Jack Wilshere has admitted Arsenal "need" to win silverware this season as fears grow their trophy drought could be extended to a seventh year.

The Gunners were eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona on Tuesday night only nine days after losing the League Cup final to Birmingham in the last minute.

But they trail Manchester United in the Premier League by only three points with a game in hand and travel to Old Trafford on Saturday for an FA Cup quarter-final clash.

“We are still in two competitions and need to get a trophy this year, that will be the aim,” said Wilshere. “We have still got the championship, we are just three points behind and with a game in hand.

“We go to Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday and we have to pick ourselves up to get the win there. We never give up, that is the spirit of Arsenal.”

Wilshere explained that the Arsenal players were staggered by the decision to penalise Robin van Persie for the offence of kicking the ball away only a second after the referee halted play, which resulted in a second booking and a red card for the Dutchman.

“Robin was furious, and even I could not hear the whistle,” said Wilshere. “We all know it was a bad decision, but we have to deal with it and move on. That is part and parcel of football.

“I thought we dealt with it quite well, but if there is any team you don't want to go down to 10 men against, it is Barcelona.

“We got a goal back, which was the aim and we were pushing them, then Robin went off, we had to defend and maybe we just ran out of legs in the end. It was a big moment for us, and we were a bit unlucky.

“Nicklas [Bendtner] had been brilliant for us and maybe if he had taken a better touch [in the final minutes], he would have put it in, but it was not meant to be.”

Following his magnificent performance in Arsenal’s 2-1 first leg victory over the three-times European Cup winners, Wilshere was once again one of his club’s most influential players in a one-sided return leg.

Nevertheless, the teenager recognises the importance the last three weeks have been in developing his own game.

“To be playing against people like Xavi and Iniesta is brilliant,” Wilshere said. “It was a great experience. At my age, I am still learning and there are no better players to learn from.

“They will probably win it now because they are the best team in Europe.”

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