x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arsene Wenger insists Premier League title fight is not over

Even though Arsenal have let Manchester United get away from them in the points table, the manager asks why his team should be written off.

Arsene Wenger says the Premier League is the most difficult championship in the world.
Arsene Wenger says the Premier League is the most difficult championship in the world.

Arsene Wenger has defended his side and dismissed notions that the Premier League title race is over.

Arsenal's character has been called into question as three draws in their past four games handed Manchester United the impetus in the title race. But Wenger's side can take advantage of United's FA Cup semi-final date with rivals City to close the gap on the leaders to four points, if they beat Liverpool at Emirates Stadium today.

Even though Arsenal have let United get away from them in the points table, Wenger asked why his team should be written off. "We are in the run for the championship so why should we at the moment feel that we are bad?"

He added: "It is important that we feel we are strong and it is important for the country that this championship race is still alive."

The Liverpool game is effectively Arsenal's game in hand on United, with both teams playing in midweek. The title rivals meet at the Emirates Stadium on May 1.

"Of course we always want to win more, but you look at the history of any club and to be consistently at the top for 15 years and moving to a different stadium is not as bad as people say it is," Wenger said.

"I just felt it is important we focus on what we can achieve, and that we do not sit here like we are on a tribunal.

"What you have to accept is that England is the most difficult championship in the world, and that there are six or seven teams who can win the championship. That is why it is difficult for everybody."

Wenger has highlighted Andy Carroll as the danger to his team today. The £35 million (Dh213m) striker grabbed his first two goals for Liverpool against Manchester City on Monday, following his January move from Newcastle United.

"He is physically very strong, has a good understanding of the game on crosses, long balls, uses his body well and he is very good in the air," said the Arsenal manager.

"There is still a lot to come from him. One of the goals he scored against Manchester City was a typically a striker's goal, good anticipation, good deflection of the ball, so we have to keep him quiet."

7pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 3 & 5