Chelsea have been League leaders right from the start of the season, and they have maintained their lead with some dour defending and fast counter-attacks. Meanwhile Arsenal have improved by leaps and bounds since Xmas to worry the Chelsea fans in the run-in.
But now, after yesterdays 0-0 draw at the Emirates, Wenger reluctantly agreed that Chelsea deserve the crown this season. “They are not champions yet but they will be, and you get what you deserve. They started the season strong and they made the difference in the first half of the season compared to us.”
“We have closed the gap since the start of the season. What happened is that they had the experience at the back, they could close the game down. We lacked freedom of mind today. Maybe we were too conscious of their counter-attacking and didn’t play with enough freedom in the final third. We made some wrong decisions.”
“We were disappointed because we wanted to win but we didn’t manage to score.
“I think we did enough to win the game today and Chelsea defended well. I felt that we played with the right intensity in the first half. We dropped that in the second half and came back to the right level in the last 20 minutes. We could have finished the game off. Ozil had a good chance in the final minute of the game but they came to defend well, did it well and everybody knows that.”
Much has been made of Wenger’s awful record against Mourinho, and Le Prof was asked if that may have affected the Gunners play. Wenger surmised: “It’s always difficult to know that straight away after the game. In the dangerous situations we created in the first half, what we usually do – the decisions are quick and sharp – and today the decisions in the final ball were not always right. All the build-up was very good, very quick, but the final ball wasn’t there.
“We want to finish this season well and when you look at the other results – I watched Aston Villa against Manchester City, and today Manchester United – every game is difficult. We need to absolutely keep focused until the end of the game, and then we can see what we can do next season. Let’s finish well. We have a strong end now. We go to Hull and then we want to secure top four before the FA Cup final because that battle is not done yet. After that, we can look at the top three or the top two. It’s all to do now.”
A draw was not so bad for us and we are still hot favourites to finish second, but as Wenger said “The battle is not done yet”. We have to maintain our unbeaten run, win the FA Cup again, and hope we can start next season with a fully fit squad and a believe that we can compete on equal terms with Chelsea….