Wenger accepts Arsenal’s title hopes are over after Swansea draw
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits their title hopes have gone and they are now concentrating on trying to cement a top-four finish.
Wenger saw his side drop further off the title pace on Tuesday as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea.
Arsenal are now six points adrift of leaders Chelsea, and three back from Manchester City – who have two games in hand.
But, with Everton winning at Newcastle, the Toffees are now just six points off Wenger’s side with a game in hand.
"Winning the title isn’t our biggest worry at the moment because we have to be realistic," said Wenger.
"Man City look unstoppable and are favourites because they have two games in hand. We have not much room to come back into it. We have to look behind us; of course, we also have to look in front of us, but as well behind us.
"Everton won, so we have to focus and prepare well for the next game. It will be open until the end, we can still have surprises. The result is very disappointing but the spirit we put in and the effort we put in was great. We have to take it on the chin."
With over half-a-dozen players sidelined, Wenger admits their lengthy injury list has hampered them.
"We have to get some players back, it’s difficult to fight with half the team out. None of them are close to coming back. Laurent Koscielny is out for a while, after that Mesut Ozil is at least two or three weeks," bemoaned the Frenchman.
"Ramsey is maybe the closest. Maybe two weeks. He’s had a setback. He’s had some scar tissue, then you have to slow down and the tendon is in a sensitive place. You always have to push but not too far."
Defender Thomas Vermaelen felt match fitness was not an issue as they allowed the Welsh side to dent their title ambitions in stoppage time.
"The most important thing today was to react well after the defeat on Saturday and get a good result. We worked hard for it, but in the end 2-2, we’re not happy with that," the Belgian defender told Sky Sports.
"We were pushing the whole game and then playing in their half to score the first equaliser and then to take the lead.
"After that they had more possession even though we wanted to keep the pressure on them and try to score a third goal but they came back into the game and made it 2-2.
"We just had to make sure that we didn’t score a goal from the counter-attack. It’s just being patient and although we scored twice, they scored right at the end as well.
"Of course we’re missing players but we have a big squad with lots of players so that shouldn’t be the reason.
"I don’t think there was a lack of confidence in the team. We were pushing the whole game and we had most of the possession. We tried very hard so in the end it was a disappointing result."