Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen believes the defeat to Manchester City was a bad way to start a period of fixtures that could determine the Gunners' season.

City recorded a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium following an early red card for Vermaelen's defensive partner Laurent Koscielny. Belgium international Vermaelen, whose compatriot Vincent Kompany saw red for City late in the game, reckons Arsenal's current run of games will be a vital period for the club.

With an FA Cup third-round replay against Swansea on Wednesday evening, and a Champions League knockout tie against Bayern Munich on the horizon, Vermaelen told Arsenal Player he wants to get back to winning ways as soon as possible: "There are a lot of big, big fixtures coming up against good teams - big games."

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