Santi Cazorla knows how important the North London derby is and insists that if Arsenal can beat Tottenham on Sunday, they will take a massive leap towards their goal of achieving a top four finish.
The Gunners are currently sitting fifth in the Premier League and are four points behind fierce rivals Tottenham, so a win for them is crucial if they want to achieve another top four finish.
Both teams will be going into the match on a high after winning their previous games, but it is Arsenal who have the physiological edge between the two teams as they have beaten them 5-2 in the last two fixtures.
Spaniard Cazorla has said he is excited about going up against Andre Villas Boas' men and insists if they can get the three points, it will be a massive boost for them going into the final few months of the season.
“It’s very important, not just because it is a great rivalry or that it’s Tottenham versus Arsenal, but the fact that they’re a side with great players who are fighting with us for a top-four spot,” he told Arsenal Player.
“To beat them and get into the top four and the Champions League, which is our aim for the season, is essential. We know how important it is and I hope we can rise to the challenge.
“Like everyone else, I’m really looking forward to the match against Tottenham and I hope we can achieve our goal of fighting for a Champions League spot. It’s going to be a really difficult game but a great match to watch.”
Cazorla scored his first goal in a North London derby back when the sides met in November and he has highlighted that goal as one of his best moments so far in an Arsenal shirt.
“The week before we played Tottenham at home, I kept being told how we had to beat them because they were ‘the rival’ and our neighbours,” he said. “I’d never experienced such a great derby before and it was fantastic to be part of it.
“It was a good all-round performance. As you know, Adebayor’s sending off made it easier for us as they had already gone ahead. It was tough, but facing 10 men for the majority of the game allowed us to beat them.
“I remember the game well: I scored and it was my first derby. It was also a great victory for the fans. I hope things go the same way as that game!”
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