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."

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