By Chris Harris
Thomas Vermaelen insists that Arsenal are not afraid of any team in the Champions League.
The Belgian defender was at his indomitable best as Arsène Wenger's side swept Porto aside on Tuesday night. Vermaelen kept the back door firmly shut to lay the foundations for a 5-0 victory which took Arsenal into the Quarter-Finals.
The draw for the last eight takes place next Friday and some fans might prefer to avoid Manchester United or Chelsea - if they stay in the competition - in light of recent Premier League defeats against both sides. But Vermaelen believes Arsenal can go all the way in Europe, regardless of who they have to face.
"It's possible that we can play them [Manchester United] in the Quarter-Finals but it's just a different game," said Vermaelen.
"Maybe we can learn from the games we played against Chelsea and Manchester United earlier. Maybe we can learn those things and get on with it in the next games. As a football player you can never be afraid of anyone. It's always a good game when you face United and Chelsea, you are enjoying it a lot when you're playing against such good teams.
"I'm convinced we can win this competition. Otherwise I wouldn't be stood here. You have to stay focused in every game and be confident in every game."
Arsenal have been written off on various occasions this season but are still challenging strongly for silverware at home and abroad. The focus now turns to the Premier League clash with Hull on Saturday and Vermaelen believes that Arsenal can prove their critics wrong by the end of the campaign.
"We've been written off twice already I think," he said. "Maybe [we will have the last laugh] we will see at the end of the season. You have to focus every game and we will see where we are at the end of the season.
"We're still in the race for both things, for the League and the Champions League, but you have to stay focused on every game. Every game is difficult and you cannot look further than one game. You have to focus on the next game and that is Hull City. You have to win every game."