Wenger refuses to give up Arsenal title hopes

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal's Barclays Premier League title dreams are once again hanging by a thread following defeat to leaders Chelsea, but is not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

For the second match in succession, the Gunners - beaten 3-1 at home by Manchester United last weekend - failed to deliver when it mattered most as Didier Drogba's first-half double sent the Blues back to the top of the table.

Arsenal are now nine points adrift with 13 matches left, and it would seem a first championship since 2004 is once more already out of reach.

Nevertheless, Wenger maintains his young team, who went on a 10-match unbeaten run and briefly topped the table before then losing to United, can dig deep and come again - starting against fourth-placed Liverpool on Wednesday night.

"I feel that we are not in the best position, but we will not give up," said a defiant Arsenal boss.

"We were a bit unfortunate as well to play Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool on the trot.

"If you lose one game it is very difficult with the psychological implications for the next game. I believe that is a little bit of a disadvantage."

Wenger had slammed his side for "failing to turn up" against United. But the Arsenal boss was this time at least able to take heart from the way the team had plenty of possession at Stamford Bridge - although crucially without any final end product, Andrey Arshavin missing the visitors' best chance when it was still 1-0.

Wenger said: "I am completely happy with our performance and the spirit we have shown.

"For me, as much as we didn't turn up against Manchester United, at Chelsea we had the expected performance.

"We were still a bit uncertain at the start of the game, but when we went into it we were completely dominant."

Wenger added: "I believe the first goal contributed highly to our defeat and that is where we were guilty. Apart from that, we had a great spirit and a great attitude.

"But we couldn't come back to 2-1 and couldn't get them wobbling.

"They defended very well and on one or two occasions I believe we were a little bit unlucky with decisions from the referee.

"We had mountains of possession and couldn't transform it into goals - as long as you don't come back to 2-1 it is difficult."

Chelsea put aside the John Terry saga to produce both a solid and clinical display to which Wenger's young Gunners had no answer.

The Arsenal boss said: "We didn't get a demonstration of football, but they were efficient and, at the end of the day, that is what has made the difference.

"You have to give Chelsea credit, they defended very well, they are very experienced at the back.

"They make the foul at the right time when they are caught on the counter-attack, the little push with the shirt, it is not enough to get a yellow card.

"They have a lot of tricks of a very experienced team and they do that very well.

"They always had the guy who came back in the box and they didn't make silly mistakes."