Title bid implausible, but not impossible: Wenger

LONDON • Arsene Wenger has refused to give up on the Premier League title despite a 0-0 draw at West Ham that left Arsenal 19 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Arsenal are seventh, below Burnley, having added just two points in three games after a 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United and a 1-1 draw at Southampton before Wednesday's stalemate.

The manager of third-placed Chelsea, Antonio Conte, and his counterpart at fourth-placed Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino, have both conceded City will be impossible to overtake, but Wenger says he will not abandon hope of a first Arsenal title since 2004.

"City are too far away to talk about the title at the moment, but it's one thing to be far away, it's another thing to give up," the Arsenal manager said.

"You don't give up. Our job is to fight as long as we can. I don't listen too much to all that stuff. Our job is to fight, to continue to give everything and see where you finish."

Arsenal are only one point off fourth place but did not look like a side going places despite enjoying the majority of possession (68 per cent) against West Ham.

The Gunners were frequently too narrow and they struggled to pick the killer pass. It seemed quintessentially Arsenal.

Wenger lamented the lack of ruthlessness, which he suggested was a hangover from the United defeat.

On that occasion, his team had 33 shots but they could only score once. At the London Stadium, only three out of 22 shots were on target.

West Ham beat Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday to give David Moyes his first win as Hammers manager and the Scot said he would have taken four points prior to the two London derbies.

The Hammers remain in the relegation places but appear to be moving in the right direction.

Substitute Javier Hernandez almost won it for West Ham late on with a shot that hit the bar and bounced short of the line and Moyes credited Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech with a vital touch.

"Four points against Chelsea and Arsenal, we have got that. We have done a pretty good job against these two teams," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2017, with the headline 'Title bid implausible, but not impossible: Wenger'. Print Edition | Subscribe