Aaron Ramsey knows Arsenal are at the make-or-break stage of the season as they bid to beat derby rivals Tottenham Hotspur to a place in the UEFA Champions League.
Spurs currently occupy the lucrative fourth place in the Premier League and their London neighbours sit four points behind in fifth but with a game in hand.
Arsenal, despite injuries to the likes of Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby, also have momentum after defeating Swansea City before the international break.
In contrast, Spurs have lost back-to-back games against Liverpool and Fulham to leave Ramsey optimistic of a repeat of last season, when Arsenal produced a late run to overtake their local foes for third position.
But the Welshman is aware there is no room for any slip-ups ahead of Saturday's game against Reading, as he told Sky Sports News: "We are coming to the stage now where we need to treat every game as a cup final.
"We need the points and hopefully we can do that.
"We have done well and got some points when others dropped them a couple of weeks ago so hopefully we can continue doing that and have a similar result as we had last season."
A dramatic 5-2 derby win in February 2012 over Tottenham started Arsenal's run last season as Arsene Wenger's men finished third while Spurs ended up in fourth and missed out on the Champions League after Chelsea won the competition.
The third-placed finish ensured Wenger kept up his impressive record of perennially qualifying for the European Cup and Ramsey does not want to be a member of the first Arsenal squad to fail under the Frenchman.
"It is massive for us to be in the Champions League and be in a competition where you are competing against the best teams in Europe," he said.
"Since Arsene Wenger has been here, none of the sides have failed to qualify and so we do not want to be the first."
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