Ibagaza - We can't concede
Ariel Ibagaza believes keeping a clean sheet will be imperative if Villarreal are to progress against Arsenal.
By Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 15/04/09 8:54am
Ariel Ibagaza believes keeping a clean sheet will be imperative if Villarreal are to progress in the UEFA Champions League at Arsenal's expense.
The Yellow Submarine are currently underdogs to advance to the semi-finals ahead of their clash at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday following a 1-1 first leg draw at El Madrigal.
With Arsenal securing a priceless away goal in Spain earlier this month, the 32-year-old Argentine knows that they can ill-afford to concede in North London.
Ibagaza believes the team will draw inspiration from their last-16 clash where they scored twice away from home to secure a 3-2 aggregate success over Panathinaikos.
Villarreal will be without key men Marcos Senna and Santi Cazorla against Arsenal and Ibagaza has challenged the club's squad players to step up on Wednesday evening.
"It's vital we keep things tight at the back with no errors in defence," he told skysports.com. "If we concede a goal in London the challenge will become more difficult.
"Our inspiration is our match in Athens in the previous round. Against a hard rival and the atmosphere we were able for to score two goals. This sprit is vital for Wednesday.
"The team travels in good spirits without fear. We say that Arsenal are a big team but in Villarreal they did not dominate on the pitch.
"We do not are focusing on Cesc Fabregas. It's true that he's a key player for The Gunners but we believe they have many dangerous players.
"We need to shut down a lot of their players and stamp our authority on the match. If we can put in the effort I'm convinced that success is possible.
"The injuries may have damaged our midfield but now is the real moment for us to demonstrate that our bench has quality. We must now show that we merit a place in the semi-finals."