Mikel Arteta reacts to Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final draw against Manchester City

Mikel Arteta is relishing the chance to take on holders Manchester City for a place in the FA Cup final but admits Arsenal have a ‘tricky’ test in front of them at Wembley.

The Spaniard spent three-and-a-half years as Pep Guardiola’s assistant before leaving City for his first senior role in management at Arsenal following Unai Emery’s dismissal back in December.

Earlier this month, it was a case of master triumphing over apprentice as Guardiola’s men swept Arsenal aside with a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the Premier League.

Arteta is desperate for an improved performance when the two sides meet again in just over three weeks’ time and knows his team have to start beating the best if they are to begin competing for trophies.

The winners of that semi-final will take on either Chelsea or Manchester United on May 23.

‘We [he and Guardiola] have spoken a few times in recent weeks,’ the Arsenal head coach said at his press conference on Tuesday.

‘Facing them in the semi-final is tricky but if you want to win the title you have to beat the best teams.

‘He’s a person who I have huge respect for.

‘When I want advice, he’s always willing to help.’

Arteta claims back-to-back victories away to Southampton and Sheffield United in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively have significantly lifted the mood within Arsenal’s squad.

‘After winning it always much more positive and happy,’ he added.

‘We had a really difficult start in terms of the fixtures, playing four games away from home. It was always going to be a challenge.

‘I’m happy to win the last ones and obviously the mood around the camp is much better.’

Arsenal’s clash with bottom-placed Norwich on Wednesday night will be their first at home since the restart and Arteta is relieved to be back playing at the Emirates.

He said: ‘We really want to play at home, that’s where we enjoy [playing] more.

‘But obviously, not having the fans is a tremendous disadvantage.

‘We want to give them happy moments and enjoyment and at the moment we cannot do that just on TV but it’s what we have at the moment.’

Asked whether Arsenal need to beat Norwich to maintain their Champions League hopes, Arteta responded: ‘Every game is going to be a must-win game from now because we have a few teams ahead of us so the margin for error is minimal.

‘At home we have to be very strong if we have any chance of finishing in European places.’

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