After seeing his side throw away a 1-0 lead at the Liberty Stadium, Arsene Wenger admitted Chelsea look almost certain to win the title this season.
Arsenal were on course for a much-needed three points when Alexis Sanchez gave them the lead at Swansea City on Sunday, but two goals within the space of four minutes turned the game on its head in favour of the Welsh side. This now leaves the Gunners in sixth place in the Premier League standings after 11 matches, and already 12 behind their London rivals.
Jose Mourinho’s team performed a comeback of their own the previous day to defeat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield, which extends their unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions. The Stamford Bridge club have looked irresistible in the opening stages of the campaign, and Wenger admits the Blues look more than capable of wrestling the title from the clutches of Manchester City.
“Look at the season and Chelsea are on course for 105 points,” said the French coach. “Look at the number of points they have today and if they keep that up nobody will touch them, that’s for sure. It doesn’t look like anybody is capable of challenging them at the moment. There’s no obvious reason, but they have had a good start and as long as you don’t lose you don’t question yourself. Maybe a little bit more extra spirit in the team helps them when it gets tight.”
Once more, a season which may have promised much for Arsenal already looks like being one full of frustration. The FA Cup winners don’t look like challenging for the title this season, meaning a place in the top-three, which secures automatic entry into the UEFA Champions League, and another cup run is the height of their realistic ambitions. Speaking after the collapse on Sunday, club legend Nigel Winterburn has urged Wenger to get his back four sorted sharpish.
“I would love to see us defend how we did it under George Graham, where one of the full-backs sits back in there, so you’ve got two centre-halves and a full-back facing the play as you’re being quickly counter-attacked,” the former England international left fullback told Sky Sports HQ. “I think if Arsenal looked at the way we defended under Graham it would help them immensely.”
Chelsea, meanwhile, have also been buoyed by the news that creative midfield ace Oscar has signed a new contract which will run until 2019. Speaking to the official club website, the Brazilian international said: “I am so happy because I love playing for Chelsea and living in England. I have enjoyed playing here for two years, and now I have five more, so I am very happy.”