Arsene Wenger refused to question Arsenal’s resilience despite their weak surrender at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday.
Wenger’s men were beaten 3-1 at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea edged another step towards the Premier League title with a powerful performance which was simply too much for their London rivals to cope with.
Marcos Alonso put the hosts in front with a goal described by Wenger as “a 100 per cent foul” and “dangerous play” – the Spaniard towering above Hector Bellerin and making contact with his countryman’s face to nod home – before a sublime Eden Hazard strike made it 2-0. Cesc Fabregas rubbed salt in the Arsenal wound with the third against his former club before Olivier Giroud netted a late consolation.
Wenger told Sky Sports: “We had the right attitude but our experienced players were not at their best. The team gave everything to the end but they lacked some maturity in the build-up.
“They [Chelsea] looked more powerful but that is the impression you get when your team tries to make 10 passes to be dangerous and the other team plays on the break.
“They have powerful players and their second goal typified it.
“We have the resilience, I don’t question that. It’s just that today everything went against us. I think on the first goal we made a tactical mistake and we were unlucky for the second, naive.
“Then we tried to come back but having five strikers on the pitch made us vulnerable to the counter attack.
“We have to accept it and prepare for the next one.”
The defeat leaves Arsenal 12 points behind Chelsea and Wenger was in no mood for discussing the Gunners’ fading title chances, adding: “I wouldn’t like to talk about that right now after that defeat.
“Chelsea are in a very strong position. They look solid, difficult to beat and we needed to be better today.
“They don’t lose against the big teams and that is always the secret to win a championship.”