'We had them on the ropes,' says Wenger and claims 'dominance'

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The Independent Football

The Chelsea fans taunted their rivals with the chant, "That's why we're champions," and it was a sentiment shared by Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who admitted his team will never win the title unless they become more clinical.

Wenger described his team as having "dominated the game surprisingly easily" although they failed to score for the third successive game against their London rivals.

A flamboyant finish from Didier Drogba and a sensational 30-yard free-kick by defender Alex gave Chelsea their fifth successive victory over Wenger's side, and ensured the champions enter the international break with a four-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Wenger said: "You have to be more clinical to win championships. You cannot win championship like that. Their strikers were more clinical and that made the difference. Apart from that, I believe Chelsea suffered a lot. They were on the ropes for long periods."

Arsenal have now picked up just one point from their last three Premier League games. Wenger said: "We dominated this game, quite surprisingly in my opinion. Surprisingly easy but we go home with zero points. The game should have been over before we started it. We had the first two chances in the first minute."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti took his place in the dug-out after flying in from Italy having attended the funeral of his 87-year-old father Giuseppe on Saturday. His assistant Ray Wilkins said: "It's been a difficult time for him but today he was fine. Carlo would like to thank everybody that has sent his best wishes, especially the League Managers' Association and he got a very, very nice text as well from Sir Alex Ferguson."

Wilkins admitted Arsenal had played the better football. "For us beating them is always a delight. It's not always pretty to look at. But it was effective and I thought the lads were terrific. We didn't play the type of football we wanted to but sometimes when you play this wonderful game of ours you can't always do what you want to. You have to fight and scrap."

Wilkins said matchwinner Drogba typified the Chelsea spirit. "He [Drogba] loves to be in that situation where he can make a difference. He certainly made the difference for us," he said.

"You saw him chasing back after 85 minutes running the full-back. Then he goes into centre-half when Alex comes off. This is what football is all about. Filling in for your mates."

Drogba took his tally to 13 goals in his last 11 games against Arsenal but said he could not explain his fine record. "Maybe it is just a question of being in the right place at the right time," he said.