The title is ours to win and United's to lose, claims Wenger

Arsene Wenger insisted yesterday that the Premier League title remained Manchester United's to lose.

Arsenal will claim the league if they win all of their 11 remaining matches in the competition, starting this afternoon when they host Sunderland. They still have to host United, who are currently four points ahead of them but have played one game more. Wenger, though, is clear that it remained Arsenal's title to win rather than to lose.

Despite the disappointment of last Sunday's Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham City, Wenger is proud of his team's form in the Premier League. Since the defeat at Old Trafford on 13 December last year, Arsenal have been on a 10-game unbeaten run, made up of seven victories and three draws. This sequence, which Wenger said is responsible for his winning the manager of the month award for February, has moved Arsenal closer to the title than they have been for years, and Wenger recognised that his players are in a position from which they can win it. "We are on a good run in the Premiership and we want to continue," he said. "We are in the best position for years now. And we can finish the job."

When asked whether Arsenal's position is sufficiently strong to describe the title as being theirs "to lose", Wenger was explicit: "No, it is Man United's to lose." He pointed to odds offered by bookmakers, contrasting United at 8-13 with Arsenal at 13-8. This meant that United were still in what Wenger called a "leading position". But Arsenal have not won the title since 2004, and when asked when the club were last in such a strong position, Wenger pointed to the 2-2 draw with Birmingham City in February 2008, when Eduardo's leg was broken and a late penalty denied Arsenal the win.

"Mathematically, it's in our hands," Wenger explained. "But that does not mean that, if you look at the fixtures, that it's ours to lose at the moment because we have difficult games. I would say exactly the reverse: it's ours to win more than ours to lose, because [United] are in a leading position. So it's down to us, to our good behaviour, to win it."

Having gone unbeaten in the league until February, United have now lost two of their past four league games. Wenger refused to "count too much" on the possibility of their feeling the pressure: "I count more on my team than on any weaknesses of Man United."

Of Tuesday's 2-1 defeat for United at Chelsea, Wenger said it was "all United in the first half and all Chelsea in the second". "When Chelsea stepped it up, you see it coming, especially after [Wayne] Rooney missed the chance to make it 2-1. You cannot say United's form has been poor – they have been dominant at home, and we should not expect any weakness from them."

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker