Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere laments lack of cutting edge in Chelsea defeat as he urges Gunners to up their game

Wilshere was part of the side that lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and feels that while the Gunners have played well, there is much room for improvement

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The Independent Online

Jack Wilshere accepts Arsenal will have to quickly find their cutting edge in attack if they are to make a lasting impact on the Barclays Premier League title race.

The Gunners slumped to a 2-0 defeat by leaders Chelsea on Sunday, which left them some nine points off the pace already and down in eighth, albeit just four points behind second-placed Manchester City.

A half-chance for midfielder Wilshere, when his first touch onto a through ball into the Chelsea box was too heavy, was just about the best opening Arsenal created despite long spells of possession.

Ultimately the game was decided by two moments of Chelsea class from Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard.

He was fouled by Laurent Koscielny for a penalty in the first half and, with 12 minutes remaining, he left a deep ball from Cesc Fabregas which was calmly collected by in-form striker Diego Costa and rifled into the net.

 

The goals gave Jose Mourinho yet another win over his rival Arsene Wenger.

Wilshere accepts Arsenal have to be more ruthless - as they were in the 4-1 demolition of Galatasaray in the Champions League last week - to close the gap on the title contenders after the international break.

"At times we controlled the game and that is the difference, at this level when you are playing against a top-class team, when you are on top you have to really make it count," said the England midfielder.

"We created a few half chances, but we never really made it count.

"You didn't really see Cesc Fabregas or Diego Costa all game and then, all of a sudden, a 50-yard ball from Cesc put it on Costa's foot and it is a great finish, and the game is over.

"We have played well, but at this level, against the top three in this league, when you are on top you need to make the opportunities count and if you don't, then you are going to get punished."

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny sees no reason why Arsenal cannot regroup and challenge again when domestic action resumes against Hull on October 18.

"We have had a tough run so far, but I would like to think that our start has been solid, not as good as we expected from ourselves, but I believe that, after the international break, we can push on and get more points," he said.

Wilshere returned to the side on Sunday, and produced a resolute display in what was a packed midfield.

The 22-year-old, who has come in for some criticism this season, is confident he can continue to grow.

"I feel good. I am always looking to improve, no matter what," he said.

"For a player of my age I have missed a lot of football, so I am just trying to play as much as I can, train as much as I can and I have always said that when I get fully fit, you will see the best of me.

"Ever since my first injury, it has always taken a run of games - probably between five and 10 games - to get back to my best."

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Wilshere has been a key figure in Arsenal's side this season after returning from injury

Wenger is, meanwhile, unlikely to face any disciplinary action from the Football Association for pushing Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during a heated touchline bust-up in the first half.

The incident was swiftly dealt with by fourth official Jon Moss and referee Martin Atkinson.

The FA is, however, expected to write to both clubs after kick-off was delayed by some 15 minutes because a flare was let off outside the away supporters' entrance.

Turnstiles were closed so smoke could clear before fans were allowed back into the corner of the Shed End.

PA

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