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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger concedes top four setback

03 Mar 2013 20:00:06

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger concedes top four setback

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger concedes top four setback Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side will now struggle to claim a top four Premier League spot after their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham. The Gunners are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and seven adrift of Spurs, who are third. "We have to fight and it will be difficult now, because we dropped points that we couldn't afford to drop," said the Frenchman. Can Arsenal produce a repeat comeback? Arsenal beat Tottenham in the derby last season to move seven points behind their rivals in a gap they eventually overhauled. "But we will fight and we will keep our spirit." Arsenal were punished by a spell of poor defending at White Hart Lane, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon capitalising to score for Spurs in the space of three first-half minutes. Per Mertesacker's header went in off Bale to give Arsenal hope but Tottenham held on for a vital three points going into the final 10 games of the campaign. "That was very important," said Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas. "It meant a lot for our fans - we wanted to get this one over Arsenal and create a distance between us. "Seven points is not big enough in the Premier League, because this time last year Arsenal came back [from a similar deficit]. "We aim to continue doing well, but we have difficult fixtures coming up against Manchester City and Liverpool. We will try to push on and qualify for the Champions League." Wenger's side beat Spurs last season with 12 games to go and overhauled a seven-point gap on their north London rivals to finish above them in third place. Tottenham claimed fourth but their place in the Champions League was taken by Chelsea, who finished fifth but won Europe's top competition. Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. Victory was for the fans - Villas-Boas Whether Arsenal can mount a similar comeback remains to be seen but Wenger knows his side will have to improve defensively if they are to stand a chance. "In the first half there was nothing [in it] and then we were 2-0 down. I don't know how it happened," said Wenger. "We produced a great energy level from the first to the last minute, but we were not decisive enough in our box or their box. "At the back, we played offside in a position where we shouldn't have done it." "I feel sorry for the team and the fans, because when you produce so much in a game and come away with so little it's a big disappointment. "I feel we were on top of the game when we conceded the goals, and that is most frustrating. If you're dominated and the opponent scores you can accept it, but the way it happened is difficult to swallow."


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