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Title race is open - Wenger.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger declared the title race had been thrown back open by Chelsea's defeat at Manchester United.

Wenger was away on a scouting mission on the day Jose Mourinho's side lost 1-0 at Old Trafford, while the international break has since intervened.

However, Wenger, whose side face a difficult trip to Wigan this weekend, believes the result could have a significant effect on the title race.

After all, while Chelsea still have a commanding lead, they have won just one of their past five games in all competitions and have dropped five out of nine points in the Premiership.

Arsenal are still 11 points behind but have a game in hand, while United are a point better off and Wigan still stand in second place, just six points behind the Blues.

Wenger declared: 'It's good for the Premier League, it makes it open again and more interesting. Of course, it's not done yet as Chelsea have still a fair distance on everyone else but it gives us some hope again.'

The Arsenal boss stressed Chelsea's defeat at Old Trafford, which ended a 40-game unbeaten league run, had shown the magnitude of the Gunners' achievement in going a whole league season without defeat.

'I feel the outstanding record is to go a whole season unbeaten and people will maybe realise later what that record means,' he told the club's website.

'It shows how difficult it is to beat that. It highlights our consistency and how much quality we have shown.'

Arsenal could reduce the gap even further when they face Chelsea next month, although they have suffered an injury blow to Gael Clichy, ruling him out at exactly the same time as fellow left-back Ashley Cole.

Wenger, who was interviewed before Clichy's injury was confirmed, is assessing his options, which include moving Pascal Cygan, Kolo Toure, Philippe Senderos or Emmanuel Eboue out of position.

He must come up with a solution before taking on Wigan, the Premiership's surprise package, with his team having suffered on each of their past returns to league action after international duty this season.

'If we beat Chelsea next month but lose our games before that, it would have no meaning,' warned Wenger. 'Remember we have a difficult game at Wigan.

'Enough games have been played to think that can't be a coincidence. They must have the quality to be there after 10 games and that's why I say it's a big game for us.

'They especially have power and pace up front and that's why they can get away on counter-attacks and score goals.'

This Article was taken from www.teamtalk.com




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The Journalist

Writer: Joel Bown Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 15 2005

Time: 5:02PM

 

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