Thomas Vermaelen insists Arsenal can take the positives from their 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich - despite being eliminated from the Champions League.
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Arsène Wenger’s side put in a solid display in Germany with Lukas Podolski cancelling out Bastian Schweinsteiger’s opener.
While disappointed not to score the two extra goals that would have taken them through, Vermaelen says there was a lot to be proud of in their display.
We are still up there in the Premier League and we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup so there is a lot to play forThomas Vermaelen
“We worked hard as a team and you can’t blame the players,” he said. “The spirit in the team is very good. To fight really hard was the only thing we could do.
“In the end, 1-1 here is not a bad result but it was not good enough to go through and that is the big disappointment for us.
“We believed until the end because we [beat them in Munich] last year and thought we could have done it again but it wasn’t good enough.
“The result wasn’t great for us to go through but you always need to take the positives out of it. We worked hard and at the end of the day that is what you need to get results.
“We are still up there in the Premier League and we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup so there is a lot to play for.”
Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage for four successive seasons, but Vermaelen feels that they have been unfortunate.
“It is difficult to say what we need to improve,” he said. “You need a little bit of luck as well. In the first game, we played really well and put them under pressure in the first 15 minutes.
“We missed a penalty and got a red card and then you know it is going to be difficult. We need a little bit of luck because when you play in the Champions League you know it is not going to be easy. I feel that we can compete with them.
“It is difficult to say what exactly the problem is. We are not always lucky with the draws after the group stage. We always get a difficult team but you need a little bit of luck as well because it is a tournament where anything can happen.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 12 Mar 2014