Arsenal's Petr Cech believes if his side were to win the Europa League it would be a sign of progression for the club

Cech won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013. Credit: PA

Petr Cech believes winning the Europa League would be a sign of progression for Arsenal.

The Gunners reached the semi-final with a 6-3 aggregate victory over CSKA Moscow following a fraught 2-2 draw in Russia on Thursday.

While the Europa League if often derided in England, it is Arsenal's only remaining chance of silverware this season and their most realistic route back into the Champions League.

Arsene Wenger's side sit 13 points adrift of the Premier League top-four and look increasingly like having to emulate Manchester United, who won the Europa League last year after finishing sixth in the league.

Some Arsenal supporters point to the fact that competing in this competition - rather than the Champions League - is a sign that the club are on the wane under Wenger.

But Cech, who won the tournament with Chelsea in 2013, is looking at it from a different angle.

"You need to keep the progression," he replied when asked what winning a European trophy does for a team.

"You keep that not only on the pitch but by winning things. Obviously, it will be very important for the club to finish the season with a European success and most importantly if we can book the spot in the Champions League for next season.

CSKA took an early two-goal lead to set Arsenal nerves jangling. Credit: PA

"A club of Arsenal's size and history belongs in the Champions League. Hopefully we can progress another round and give it a shot in the final.

"We know this is our chance to book our Champions League spot but not only that, you play a European competition for a cup and for a cup the club has never won.

"This is another opportunity to add a great trophy to the cabinet."

Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey scored in the closing 15 minutes as Arsenal ended a difficult evening at Arena CSKA with a barely-deserved draw.

Earlier, Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin pounced on Cech saves to turn home the rebound and put the hosts two goals ahead on the night and close to a remarkable comeback.

But Cech insists it does not matter how a team progresses in a cup competition, just that they are there at the end of the season when the medals are up for grabs.

"I think in a European competition you don't ask how well you played each round," he added.

"You can play beautiful football but when you are knocked out, you are knocked out. So I think in any European competition you need to play well enough to go through.

"This is sometimes the most important, rather than playing beautiful football."

Cech also revealed that Wenger has not spoken to him or David Ospina about who will play in goal for the remainder of the competition.

Ospina has been the goalkeeper of choice in the Europa League, but missed both legs against CSKA through injury, with Wenger now having a choice between sticking with Cech or recalling the Colombian when fit.