LONDON (REUTERS) - Liverpool and Chelsea have an advantage in the Premier League title race because they are not playing in Europe this season, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after Sunday's draw with Tottenham Hotspur denied them top spot.
Arsenal could have entered the international break leading the Premier League but after going in front against their north London rivals they ran out of steam and drew 1-1.
A rampant Chelsea thrashed Everton 5-0 on Saturday to go top with 25 points and Liverpool responded with an equally emphatic 6-1 victory over Watford later on Sunday to move above the Blues with 26 points from 11 games.
"It's a bit easier to prepare for the games because you don't have the intensity of the Champions League games," Wenger, whose side have 24 points, told reporters when asked whether Liverpool and Chelsea had an advantage.
"But if you asked them both they would like to be in there so you can't complain about it.
"It's a physical advantage for sure, especially after the European weeks. But we have to live with that and it's not an excuse. It's very tight after 11 games."
Arsenal are still unbeaten in all competitions since an opening day defeat by Liverpool, but Wenger admitted his side had struggled physically against a Tottenham side who began and finished the derby stronger.
"We were a bit too stretched and our level dropped," Wenger said. "When we were questioned physically in the final 30 minutes, we were not good enough to win the game."