Arsene Wenger accepts that a draw was probably a fair result after Arsenal and Manchester City shared the spoils at the Emirates this evening.
David Silva put the visitors ahead in the first half before the Gunners rallied in the second, deservedly equalising through Mathieu Flamini’s well-taken effort from a Podolski cross.
Speaking at the end of a traumatic seven days which has seen his side’s title-ambitions crumble, the boss paid tribute to a show of character from a squad that has endured a week of criticism.
“Maybe, yes [the draw was the fairest result]. We were a bit nervy at the start, insecure in our attitude by our last two results. But even when we were 1-0 down you could see the team was ready for a fight and we controlled the second half – we controlled the first 20 minutes.
“Overall in the first half maybe they had another chance, in the second half we had a second chance. We could have won it in the second half but overall it was a game of quality between two good teams and the game was played with a great spirit on both sides.
“With what happened last week of course if you read the newspapers you can’t believe that, but if you look at our results since the start of the season, we are in the semi-final of the FA Cup. We knocked out Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton, we lost against Bayern with 10 men and played a 1-1 [in Germany]. You don’t do that if you’re terrible and with the players we have out and what we have shown today, I think it’s remarkable.
“Of course you could see with the 2-2 against Swansea that the team was on the floor and hugely disappointed because we conceded an own goal in the last minute. Despite that, we responded very well here.”
After Chelsea lost at Crystal Palace, the Gunners end the day a point closer to the leaders although with Everton playing Fulham tomorrow there’s also a worry that the gap between themselves and the fifth placed Toffees could be cut to four points before next week’s trip to Goodison Park.
“What happens at Chelsea doesn’t help us because it does not give us more points here,” reflected Wenger.
“It just shows that we have absolutely to fight until the end of the season because everybody can beat everybody. Chelsea lost today at Crystal Palace, so that means all of us have to be careful and consistent.
“Mathematically we are still in there but it is not in our hands. That means you cannot say it is just depending on us and it is not realistic maybe to say that today. We have to look above us and behind us as well, because behind us they are coming as well.”