Arsene Wenger retains confidence in Arsenal title chances

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal should believe in their Barclays Premier League title challenge even more now despite not being able to breakdown a determined Manchester City at Emirates Stadium last night.

The Gunners remain in third place, two points behind City, on whom they still hold a match in hand, and four off leaders Manchester United, who have played a game less.

City - who are expected to shortly complete the £27million signing of striker Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg - failed to muster a single shot on target, missing injured frontline duo David Silva and Mario Balotelli.

Arsenal, but for some better fortune, could have been celebrating a second successive home victory over one of their title rivals.

The Gunners twice hit the woodwork in the first half through Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas, with England goalkeeper Joe Hart then saving superbly from the Dutchman's 25-yard drive on the hour.

Both sides finished with 10 men after full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna were shown straight red cards by referee Mike Jones for a needless clash on the far touchline.

City drew plenty of criticism both from the television pundits for the live match and also the Emirates Stadium faithful.

While Blues boss Roberto Mancini was not concerned by the chants of 'boring, boring City', Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his youngsters can take plenty of positives.

"Overall there is no way we should lose courage or belief in our team. It is the opposite," he said.

"We should even come out with even more belief in our quality and be more resolute in the coming games because we have shown we have what it takes to be a serious contender in this league."

Wenger continued: "The regret I have is that we did not take our early chances because that would have changed the game. They came here to have a 0-0 and they got what they wanted.

"We played for long periods against 10 men, even Carlos Tevez, I have never seen him so deep.

"We always try to win our games, but maybe it was their way to try to win, to defend deep and to catch us on the break and make something special.

"But we have to respect that and sort out the problems we face.

"Even if a team defends deep, we have to find a way to score and you cannot reproach Manchester City for that.

"Maybe it was not the most spectacular way but still they were efficient in what they wanted and they got it."

Mancini maintained he had no issue with getting under the home fans' skin.

"It is not important for me," the Italian said.

"I prefer booing at the end and to go home with one point than with three goals in our net.

"When you play here against Arsenal, it could be that Arsenal play better than you and you might defend, and this is football.

"It's the same when you play against Barcelona. You play in Barca, and you must defend very well if you don't want to lose the game.

"I think that if we had Silva, Balotelli probably it might have been a different game."

Mancini also insists the title race is far from over.

He said: "We are in a good position, like Arsenal and Manchester United. The season is very long.

"Also, although Chelsea and Tottenham both lost, I think they can still arrive on the top."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower