A frustrated Arsène Wenger said his Arsenal team were "completely dominant" despite their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge that pushed his side nine points off the pace at the top of the Premier League.
Two first-half goals from Didier Drogba, who also hit the bar, ensured Chelsea reclaimed first place in the table, two points ahead of Manchester United. Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, hugged every Chelsea player as they left the pitch in gratitude after a week that has put the club under intense scrutiny in the wake of the John Terry scandal.
However, Wenger claimed his was the only team interested in playing attacking football and accused Chelsea of making sneaky fouls to break up play whenever Arsenal had the chance to build a quick attack. Arsenal's loss follows the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United a week previously, and could prove fatal to Wenger's hopes of winning the title.
Wenger said: "You have to congratulate Chelsea but we did not get a demonstration of football. But Chelsea were very efficient. We had mountains of possession and could not create it into a goal. We had 70 per cent of the possession. We were not running after the ball for 90 minutes. We were not in a position where we were dominated. We were always in an attacking position and had to risk things going wrong. Our spirit was great. I am completely happy with the performance and the spirit. We didn't turn up against Manchester United. When we got into it [against Chelsea] we were completely dominant.
"They are very experienced at the back. They make the foul at the right part of the pitch, in the middle of the pitch, to stop a counter-attack. A little push, not enough to be a yellow card. They have a lot of tricks and are very experienced. They do that very well. They got one or two decisions from the referee."
Arsenal have a dismal record against Chelsea and United in recent games. In Arsenal's last nine games against their two biggest rivals, they have managed one draw and eight defeats. Wenger agrees Arsenal, who have now gone four games without a win in all competitions, cannot afford another slip when they host Liverpool on Wednesday. "We are not in the best position but we will not give up," he said.
Drogba put Chelsea ahead after eight minutes from close range and added a second, his 22nd of a prolific season, with a fine run and finish a quarter of an hour later.
Ancelotti disagreed with Wenger's assessment that the better team lost. "We deserved to win," he said. "You cannot only speak about the game and only speak of possession. We were in control."
Terry suffered a dead leg in the second half, but played on with his left thigh strapped. He will see the club's doctors today and Ancelotti wants him to play against Everton on Wednesday. However, if he is not fit enough, he may be allowed time off to visit his wife, Toni, in Dubai.
Arsenal could face an FA investigation after an object that looked like a coin was thrown at Ashley Cole from the away section of the ground.Reuse content