BARCA WIN IS OUR CATALYST

ARSENAL captain Cesc Fabregas has urged his team to use their watershed victory over Barcelona as the springboard for success in a four-pronged challenge for silverware.

The Gunners sent shockwaves throughout Europe by coming from behind on Wednesday night to topple Barca, a team widely regarded as the best in the world.

Manager Arsene Wenger afterwards said the triumph would have a galvanising effect on his side’s confidence as they look to end a six-year wait for a trophy.

And Fabregas believes beating the Catalans can act as a catalyst for further improvement as they prepare for a run of games that could make or break their season.

“It was the right result and definitely uplifting,” said Fabregas. “We are in the final of the Carling Cup, we have an FA Cup match coming on Sunday and two Premier League games coming up before the second leg against Barcelona.

“I’m hoping this win will be good for the team because since the new year we’ve only lost one game and we’ve won most of our games. Apart from the disappointment against Newcastle we’ve won everything. At the moment we’re on a good run and we want to keep it going.”

Arsenal go into Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round fixture at Leyton Orient in scintillating form, having won eight of their last nine games, the exception being a 4-4 draw on Tyneside.

The Carling Cup final against Birmingham later this month is sandwiched between home league games against Stoke and Sunderland, before Wenger’s men travel to Spain for the second leg of their last 16 tie with Barcelona.

The Gunners suffered a drubbing on their last trip to Camp Nou, but midfielder Samir Nasri, who set up Andrey Arshavin’s midweek winner, believes they are now tougher opponents.

“We improved well,” he said. “We showed more maturity than last season. We knew if we could put them under pressure we could get back.”