Skipper Per Mertesacker says Arsenal will battle for the title till the end of the season but insists it remains Chelsea’s to lose.
With Arsenal in FA Cup action against Reading this weekend, Chelsea have the opportunity to extend their lead over Arsene Wenger’s side to 10 points if they beat Manchester United on Saturday.
But despite eight Premier League wins on the spin, the Arsenal skipper Mertesacker is refusing to talk up Arsenal’s title prospects.
“We have to win our games,” he told reporters ahead of Arsenal’s semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
“But I think what made us really strong on our run is focusing on ourselves, not too much on Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United, just us.
“We’ll see how far we’ve come at the end. We depend on Chelsea so it’s not in our hands and it’s really hard to predict for us.”
“We need to deliver good performances and results and we didn’t manage that before. We’ve already lost six games and they have lost two so even if they lose to Manchester United it’s really hard to say we have a chance.
“It’s more important we focus on us. That is what has made us really strong in the last couple of weeks.”
Live Ford Saturday Night Football
Victory for Manchester United at Chelsea will give Arsenal the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders to four points with a game in hand when they visit Stamford Bridge the following weekend.
Mertesacker reiterated Arsenal must concentrate solely on their own performances but admits his team-mates are looking forward to a mouth-watering end-of-season London derby against Jose Mourinho’s side.
“We want to secure that second spot. That is the focus,” he said.
“It’s going to be a great game and let the best team win. We have to earn the right to win that game and then we can say it’s well deserved.”