Szczesny: We’re still fighting

Arsenal slipped back into third place behind Chelsea on goal

difference after they were unable to close out a pulsating

north-London derby against Spurs despite leading 3-1 just before

half-time. Although Manchester United are now six points clear,

they still have to travel to Emirates Stadium on May 1 and then

host Chelsea after their Champions League semi-final against

Schalke. Arsene Wenger maintains his men will fight until the

bitter end, but opportunities are now running out. Any more draws

following six out of the last nine, in an unbeaten 16-game run, and

you suspect the game will be up for another campaign which promised

so much but again failed to deliver. However, goalkeeper Szczesny –

who conceded a second-half penalty when he tripped Aaron Lennon

which allowed Spurs to level at 3-3 – maintains all is not lost as

the Gunners should take great courage from their efforts in last

night’s high-octane affair. “You are never really in control when

you play against Tottenham because it is a war, not just a football

game. It is never won until it is won,” Szczesny told Arsenal TV

Online. “In the second half, they put us under a lot of pressure

and deserved a draw. “We are disappointed because we needed to win

the game, but we have to admit it was a fair result.” The Poland

stopper, 22, added: “Of course we are fighting, when you play at

White Hart Lane for Arsenal, you give everything, 110%. “We came

with a belief we were going to win, it did not happen for us, but

we can be proud of our attitude. “We played some fantastic

attacking football, especially in the first half and were probably

unlucky to go into half-time with only a one-goal lead.” By the

time Arsenal run out at Bolton on Sunday afternoon, the deficit on

United could be even greater should they beat Everton in Saturday’s

lunchtime kick-off at Old Trafford. While Szczesny accepts there is

little the Gunners can do but hope United will slip up again, the

Polish goalkeeper knows if Arsenal fail to secure maximum points

from here on in, then it will not really matter. “We know that

every time we draw, we drop two points, especially now when we have

to catch up Manchester United,” he said. “Thankfully they are

dropping points as well, so it is not finished yet. “It is going to

be very difficult, but we are going to fight until the end. “It is

not in our hands any more and has not been for some time, we now

have to rely on other teams to take some points off Manchester

united “But they are not on form and we have to hope they will drop

points and focus now on getting the result on Sunday.” Wenger last

night again defended the “remarkable attitude” of his young side in

the face of more criticism that they lacked the mental toughness to

close out from a winning position. The Gunners boss also refuses to

give up on what he now views as a wide open, three-way, five-match

sprint for the championship. “Chelsea are back in and they play

Manchester United,” he said. “We have games we know we can win, at

some stage it will be down to us. We will fight.” Captain Cesc

Fabregas produced an all-action display and the Spain international

hopes his new-found fitness levels will continue until the end of

the season following a niggling hamstring problem. Fabregas said on

Twitter: “Personally I didn’t feel as good as yesterday since the

day I got injured versus Stoke. “Hopefully it can continue till the

end of the season. “Credit to Spurs for not giving up and give us a

real test. Now rest and ready for a big game Sunday at Bolton.”