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Arsenal can forget Premier League title - Arsene Wenger


Title very unlikely now - Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side have to "forget the title race" after their 2-1 defeat by north London rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners are now six points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with four games to play.

"We must forget the title race and try to finish as high as we can," he said. "It's unlikely but you never know.

"It shows that we're not mature enough because you can't afford to lose these games if you want to win the league."

Arsenal had been unbeaten in their last eight league matches, earning 22 points out of a possible 24, a run which had put the Gunners in with a chance of winning their first league title since 2004.

However, Tottenham's defence, boosted by the return of captain Ledley King after a seven-week absence with a thigh injury, proved difficult for Wenger's men to break down.


Arsenal have suffered badly with injuries this season with Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin, William Gallas, Johan Djourou, Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs all missing at key times.

"We have made progress this season but had too many players missing tonight," said Wenger, who welcomed Van Persie back to his substitutes' bench.

"You need a miracle to make it happen like that. Tonight our weaknesses were exposed.

"We'll continue to fight but even a point wasn't enough from tonight - we needed three points."

Wenger did bring striker Van Persie off the bench late on.

It was a great win because we came here on the back of a disappointing day on Sunday

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp

And the Dutchman, who has been out for five months since rupturing an ankle ligament while on international duty, showed what Arsenal have been missing, forcing Heurelho Gomes into three stunning saves.

"Van Persie hasn't kicked a ball for five months. You could see straight away he gave us something different and something special," said Wenger.

"Tottenham defended very well and we were not good enough with our final ball in the final third.

"That was the story of the game until Van Persie came on and transformed our game in the final third."

But Wenger admitted conceding the second goal had been the killer blow: "When you look at the way we conceded the second goal, that is not good enough if you want to challenge for the title."

Danny Rose
Date of Birth: 2 June, 1990
Position: Midfielder
Previous Clubs: Leeds, Watford (loan), Peterborough (loan)
Joined Tottenham in August 2007
18 league and cup career appearances - scoring one goal
Has won total of 24 caps at England Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 international level

Spurs suffered a 2-0 defeat by Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday and manager Harry Redknapp was delighted with the way his side responded to that setback.

"It was a great win because we came here on the back of a disappointing day on Sunday," said Redknapp.

"To lift ourselves after that and turn in a performance like that said so much for the players, especially when we were so patched up."

"All round it was a great night for us, everybody worked hard and did a great job."

The victory left Spurs one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the Premier League, although their next two games are against Chelsea at White Hart Lane before going to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

"It gives us a big lift for Chelsea, which will be another difficult game but on the back of this but we will go into it in great confidence," said Redknapp.

"We have been on a great run, that's six out of the last seven we have won in the league."

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see also
Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal
14 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Vermaelen season ended by injury
16 Apr 10 |  Arsenal
Wednesday football as it happened
14 Apr 10 |  Football
Wednesday's football photos
14 Apr 10 |  Football

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