Arsene Wenger says the disappointment of losing to Chelsea must be tempered by the fact Arsenal are still very much in the title race.
Diego Costa’s strike, five minutes after Per Mertesacker’s 18th minute red card, was enough for the Blues to overcome the Gunners who lacked spark in the final third even though they improved in the second half.
Reflecting on an incredibly frustrating afternoon at the Emirates, the boss played up the spirit his side showed having gone down to ten men.
“We are disappointed because we lost a game at home,” Wenger told his post-game press conference.
“We wanted to compete, we wanted to take advantage of playing at home, but unfortunately the decisive moment came quite early on in the game.
“Unfortunately Chelsea took advantage of that and scored. From there, they tried to control the game and playing 11 against 10 for 70 minutes is always an advantage [for Chelsea].
“I thought that, even with 10 men, we came back very strongly in the second half. We could have actually scored the equaliser but we were missing a little bit of the last touch inside the box and around the box.
“There were always moments where we almost got there, but we didn’t find a real opportunity to put the ball in the net.”
He continued: “I thought for 70 minutes we were brilliant, in terms of the team effort and the organisation. We were not far from getting something out of the game.
“When you play against the champions and are down to 10 men for such a long time…we are only three points off the lead and have Leicester and Southampton at home coming up.
“They are difficult games but if we can keep winning our games, we can go back to the top.”