Wenger won’t give up on title
Arsene Wenger is adamant that Arsenal are still in the Premier League title race despite dropping to third after the 3-3 draw at Tottenham.
The Gunners trail Manchester United by six points after Wednesday night’s game at White Hart Lane, which Arsenal led 3-1 after 40 minutes thanks to goals from Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie.
A strike from Tom Huddlestone and a Rafael van der Vaart double ensured that Spurs picked up a point to deny their bitter rivals, and put further pressure on Wenger, who now looks set to finish a sixth straight season without a trophy.
10 points from their remaining five games would win the title for United while Chelsea will be confident of holding on to second after their 3-1 defeat of Birmingham.
But Wenger is upbeat about his side’s chances of being crowned champions, despite their latest setback.
"The title race is completely open," he said.
"This team has a remarkable attitude and even if at the moment we do not have the number of points, we are remarkably consistent and it was a difficult game tonight.
"Chelsea are now back in the race. Chelsea play Man United and Tottenham but it’s down to us.
"We have to keep our faith and keep battling."
Wenger rued what he believed was an incorrect call to rule out Robin van Persie’s disallowed second-half strike, and his side’s lack of fitness.
He also admitted to be frustrated at his team’s inability to hold on to a lead – a problem which has troubled the Londoners throughout this campaign.
"It is disappointing because we had the lead and we were 3-1 up and I feel as well that we scored a goal that was not offside," Wenger said.
"But with an average performance we wouldn’t have come away with a point.
"We played the game how we wanted to play but we dropped physically in the second half and you could see that the Liverpool game had a baring on tonight’s game."
Wenger also apportioned some of the blame on young goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who came off his line to clatter into Aaron Lennon and concede the 70th minute penalty which Van der Vaart drilled home to seal the draw.
"He was a bit late," the Frenchman admitted.
Harry Redknapp’s team now trail Manchester City by two points with five matches remaining as they chase Champions League qualification.
The Tottenham boss was philosophical about losing ground to their rivals and instead chose to savour the enthralling game that was played amid a white-hot atmosphere.
"It was a great game played between two good teams," he said.
"I felt we were excellent in the second half and we had the best chances to win it in the end.
"We have come back from losing positions quite a bit and turned the game around.
"The spirit we have here comes from having a happy camp, you create that spirit at the club.
"William Gallas was struggling at the end and I was going to sub him, but he wanted to play on and you need people like that who never give up."
Redknapp allayed fears that Gareth Bale could be set for another period on the sidelines after being flattened twice by Szczesny before being replaced at half-time.
"He shouldn’t be too bad. He got a knock but he’ll get plenty of them over the next few years. I think it was his knee," Redknapp added.
Wenger, meanwhile, hit out at Don Balon magazine for their interview with Cesc Fabregas in which the Gunners captain appeared to question his manager’s policy of having faith in his youngsters rather than buying proven imports.
"The article bothers me," Wenger said.
"This was an article organised by the club with a check viewing of the article. Not only did the author not respect the agreement, but also he did twist completely the article and we are really upset about it.
"It was not an attack on my philosophy.
"That is not what he said. He said completely the opposite."