(Fixes typo in headline)
By Mike Collett
LONDON, April 21 Arsenal must pick themselves up
from Wednesday's disappointing 3-3 draw with arch-rivals
Tottenham Hotspur and focus on this weekend's game against
Bolton if they are to keep their Premier League title hopes
Arsenal let a two-goal lead evaporate against Spurs at White
Hart Lane and, in many observers' eyes, killed off their hopes
of overtaking Manchester United for the Premier League crown.
With champions Chelsea winning 3-1 at home against
Birmingham City, Arsenal slipped from second to third behind
Carlo Ancelotti's side on goal difference and seem set for a
sixth season without a trophy.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was among those who thought
Arsenal's failure to win had severely damaged their chances of
lifting the title for the first time since 2004.
"They have gone 16 games unbeaten in the League and you
don't do that without any bottle," Redknapp said afterwards.
"But it is going to be hard for them to catch Manchester
United now, although you never know. Chelsea might win every
game and its not the first time we have seen big leads turn
around, but it was a bad result for Arsenal tonight and a very
good result for Manchester United."
Despite the two points dropped, Wenger was in bullish mood.
"It is not over, we will fight until the end," he told
reporters. "Chelsea are back in the race and it is down to us to
keep our faith and keep battling and we will not always draw
when we score three goals."
Arsenal have now dropped 13 points from winning positions
this season, and with five matches to play, trail Manchester
United by six points.
United lead the standings with 70 points, six clear of both
Chelsea and Arsenal and need only 10 points from their last five
matches to secure a record 19th title.
Arsenal's next match is on Sunday at Bolton, who will be
keen to make up for their 5-0 drubbing by Stoke City in the FA
Cup semi-final last Sunday.
ALL TO PLAY FOR
Manchester United, who drew 0-0 with Newcastle on Tuesday,
are the first side in action on Saturday when they face Everton
in a lunchtime kickoff at Old Trafford where they have won 15 of
their 16 League games and drawn the other.
Chelsea have emerged as United's closest challengers,
showing many of the qualities that made them champions by
demolishing Birmingham on Wednesday.
They face their old manager Avram Grant and his
relegation-threatened West Ham side at Stamford Bridge on
Like Wenger, Ancelotti believes the title is still there to
"Obviously I would like to be in United's position, six
points ahead," he said.
"That's a lot at this stage of the season, but in football
anything can happen right up until the final whistle. You can
win the title in the last minute and you can lose the title in
the last minute."
While Wednesday's match at White Hart Lane dented Arsenal's
title hopes, it also did little for Spurs' chances of finishing
in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
Like last season they are in a two-way battle with
Manchester City for fourth spot, and trail them by two points
with both teams having six games to play.
Spurs are at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday while
Manchester City, buoyed by beating Manchester United and
reaching their first FA Cup final for 30 years last weekend,
visit out-of-form Blackburn Rovers on Monday.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford; to query or comment on this story
Please double-click on the newslink:
more soccer stories