Santi Cazorla says Arsenal must keep the ball better if they want the right result against Manchester United on Sunday.

The Spaniard was on target at Old Trafford earlier this season but he freely admits that his stoppage-time goal in a 2-1 defeat flattered the visitors after a one-sided encounter.

If we have the ball, we’re definitely going to hurt them

Santi Cazorla

Another defeat to the newly-crowned champions would seriously dent Arsenal's hopes of a top-four finish and Cazorla knows possession will be vital.

"Above all we need to keep the ball," he told Arsenal Player. "If we have the ball, we’re definitely going to hurt them. We’re a team that keeps possession well and knows how to hurt the opposition.

"If we don’t, it’ll be the reverse. They’ll cause us problems because they have a lot of quality and when given space they can threaten us. Keeping the ball is the key. We need to force them back and not give them time on the ball as they have players that can make a difference.

"It wasn’t a good game for us [at Old Trafford], admitted Cazorla. "We didn’t play very well and made life hard for ourselves right at the start with Van Persie scoring within five minutes.

"We found it tough trying to break them down and they had a lot of good chances. Then we went down to 10 men after Jack got sent off. They played the game well. My goal at the end means the scoreline flattered us a bit and I think they were better than us in that match."

Arsenal have won six of their last seven games to inch ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for the Champions League places and he is relishing the chance to face the best team in the country.

"We always look forward to the big games," he said. "They’re coming here having won the league and we hope that they’ll be more relaxed than if they had to win the league on our pitch, but it’s going to be a very difficult game.

"At the moment, they’ve got the best team in the Premier League - they’ve proven that by winning the league with games to spare. But I hope we can get the three points at home because we need them more than they do.

I don’t think [that United will take it easy]. They could rotate their squad or make some changes here and there but after all it’s Manchester United.

"It doesn’t matter, for example, if it’s Van Persie, Welbeck, Chicharito or Rooney up top, they’re all spectacular players and they can all cause us a lot of problems. So, it doesn’t matter who plays. The fact they’ve won the league won’t make any difference.

"Each game is a final for us, Tottenham and Chelsea, because we’re all fighting for third and fourth place. The three points are vital on Sunday. Every game has greater significance now and beating United at home would mean a more secure position."

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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 Chris Harris 26 Apr 2013