'When Arsenal are happy with a draw - it is a surprise'

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The Independent Football

Having seen his Chelsea team denied victory over Arsenal yesterday by both posts and the crossbar, Jose Mourinho responded with his customary grace following a setback - taunting both Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson.

He criticised Arsenal for lacking ambition, arguing they came to Stamford Bridge seeking a point because they accepted it was impossible to win the title.

Turning his attention to Manchester United, who are now eight points clear, albeit having played a game more, he said of Ferguson: "I think he must be happy now because we dropped points but if he thinks it is over he is in trouble. It is not over. Chelsea is ready. We have shown we are ready. We have proven at Old Trafford we are not afraid of them. We can beat them at Stamford Bridge and we have a long way to go."

Referring to Chelsea's game in hand, against Newcastle United at home on Wednesday, Mourinho said: "I think after Wednesday we will be five points behind and what is five points in such a long championship?"

Mourinho reserved most of his scorn for Arsenal, who played a 4-5-1 formation with two defensive midfielders, Gilberto and Mathieu Flamini. The latter scored the game's opening goal, after 78 minutes, but that did not prevent the Chelsea manager carping. "Quality of football they have, organisation they have, control and possession, but ambition to win? No," he said.

"When I see [Arsenal] happy with a draw, and being out of the Premiership [title race] - it is a bit of a surprise. At the beginning of the season I think there are three teams I have to fight against for the Premiership - Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. It is now impossible for Arsenal to be champions and it looks like they are just happy for us not to get three points. When you are far from your objectives you have to go to every game to win, one point is only good for pride, I was waiting for more [from them]."

Wenger, who exchanged angry looks with Mourinho several times after incidents during the match, was unrepentant. "What does he want? We have an under-21 defence and I felt they needed a bit of protection but we created good chances and we were so close to winning the game you cannot say we did not want to," the Arsenal manager said. "I have not given up [the championship] but I concede Manchester United would have to have a big drop."

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