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Silvestre aims to delay United party
Published : 11 May 2009 17:30:13
Sir Alex Ferguson's side knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage last week and, presuming they beat Wigan later this week, United will need just a point against the Gunners to ensure they retain the Premier League crown. But the former Old Trafford defender insists Arsenal must bounce back from Sunday's 4-1 home defeat by Chelsea by fighting all the way for the Arsenal cause. "It is always a game to look forward to," said Silvestre. "It will be tough going back there. We need to play like we started against Chelsea and make sure it goes our way when it comes to scoring goals. "It is a good chance to prove to ourselves that we have got what it takes to fight and be on top of the league for next season. Players have to fight for their spots and show the boss they deserve to be there and have the will to defend Arsenal's colours." Arsenal suffered their worst home defeat for 32 years against Chelsea and the result ended a run of 21 unbeaten league games for the Gunners. But after conceding seven goals in their past two games against United and Chelsea, Arsenal's defence has come under fire. "It's a very bad week for us - two defeats a home and it was not the response we wanted to give to the fans against Chelsea," added Silvestre. "The will was there but the luck was not. We need to concentrate on the last two games and stay professional. "It was hard for two days to digest the defeat to United but after that when you play Chelsea at home, you have to look forward to it. "That's what we did. We took control at the start of the game and created a few chances but after that the scenario was a disaster. "It would be easy to put the blame on the defence itself but there are 11 to defend the ball. "We played against top sides and showed some weaknesses. It is for the boss to analyse this. But as a defender it is always painful to concede so many goals. "To be honest the spirit was good. We had one more day to recover than Chelsea and I think we were fresher, also in our heads we felt good. We are disappointed to finish like that with 4-1 against us. "We always learn more when you have defeats like that but is disappointing to finish where we are now." Chelsea were two-up at half-time through Alex and Nicolas Anelka. A Kolo Toure own goal put Chelsea further in command before Nicklas Bendtner reduced the arrears. However, Chelsea had the final say when Florent Malouda added a fourth in stoppage time. The result left Arsenal in fourth place and having to qualify for the Champions League through the play-offs in the summer and Silvestre says their preparation will have to be perfect. "We will look at the draw very carefully," said Silvestre. "It makes our preparation in pre-season very interesting and it has to be spot on. "Some players will be in the African Nations qualifiers, and Cesc Fabregas will be with Spain, so it is going to be difficult."