Sunday 26 April 2015 22:15, UK
Arsene Wenger believes it is simply a matter of time before Chelsea are crowned champions after Arsenal's goalless draw with the Premier League leaders all-but ended their own title hopes.
Arsenal knew anything but a victory would hand Chelsea the initiative and, after a frantic first half at the Emirates, the Gunners were unable to break down the visitors' solid rearguard.
And Wenger felt Chelsea’s defensive solidity, coupled with their constant threat on the counter, ultimately got the better of his side who saw an eight-game winning run come to an end.
“We know Chelsea will be champions,” he told Sky Sports. “A win for us today was absolutely necessary, so it’s impossible for Chelsea to lose it now.
“Chelsea are a good side because they defend very well. In the recent games they haven’t conceded and today they defended very well.
“We lacked freedom and expression in our offensive game. We played with the handbrake on at times.
“I must say the team has progressed very well since the start of the season and we are still on a very good run.
“[But] we were conscious of their counter attack and maybe it was a bit too much in our heads not to be naïve and that may have taken something off us going forward.
“We produced a performance that was requested and one we wanted to produce. In the first half we played with the right intensity but in the dangerous situations we lacked the right decision in the final third.
“In the second half our intensity dropped in the first 20 minutes and the game became a bit comfortable for Chelsea.
“We had dangerous situations and we maybe have regrets with [Mesut] Ozil and [Danny] Welbeck missing in the final minute. It was a game where both teams defended well and perhaps lacked something in the final third.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was booked for simulation after going down in the penalty area after a challenge from Santi Cazorla In the first half.
When asked whether simulation was something he would attribute to a player he had managed for eight years, Wenger claimed any player was capable of such behaviour.
“You don’t need to be a special sort of player to gain an advantage in a game, any player can do that,” Wenger added.
“I don’t know [if Fabregas dived]. The referee made his decision and it’s difficult to know what’s going on in the head of the player.”