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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Wenger refusing to give up on title

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal have “turned the corner” after their recent setbacks against Chelsea and Swansea, while he believes the Gunners still have an outside chance of winning the title.

After such a promising first half of the season, Arsene Wenger is now under intense scrutiny.
Arsene Wenger still believes Arsenal can win the Premier League.

Mangan: Ramsey return a boost

Wenger’s side lost 6-0 at Chelsea last month, before conceding a late own goal that cost them two points in a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea a few days later.

However, Arsenal recovered from the slump with a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City on Saturday to help boost their chances in the race for fourth place ahead of Everton, who they face on Sunday.

“I believe we were a bit flat after the Swansea and Chelsea games, and what was vital for us was not to lose against City and if possible to win,” Wenger told his prematch news conference. “But at least to come out with a strong performance. We feel we have done that so I think we have turned the corner and we have an opportunity to show that against Everton.”

The Arsenal boss also believes the morale-boosting result against City can reinvigorate their Premier League title challenge.

“First of all we have not given up on that, as long as there is a mathematical chance we want to fight,” he said. “It is disappointing to have dropped off from the top of course, and we have to give absolutely everything to come back into it.

“For us [Everton] is an opportunity to go up forward and as well an opportunity to make a distance with Everton of course. It's both. As I told you after the last game against Man City, we look in front of us and behind us as well. That's what the game is about on Sunday.”

Wenger believes it is City who are best placed to win the title, despite Liverpool currently holding top spot, having played two games more.

“Mathematically it is possible,” the Frenchman said of Liverpool’s chances. “Why do I say that? I don’t know more than you. Nobody knows, that is why it is interesting. It is a possibility yes, that they can win the Premier League.

“I don’t know, I still think City have two games in hand and the two games are at home, where they are strong in the Premier League. So they have a huge advantage. There are still a lot of twists and turns in the Premier League until the end of the season and there is no clear favourite.

"Liverpool has an advantage as they don’t play any competition other than the Premier League for a long, long time so they have only one target and they can of course be stable in their preparation. That is a little advantage, but it is very tight.”

Wenger pointed to defeats like Chelsea’s loss to Crystal Palace last weekend as proof that Arsenal are not out of the title race just yet.

“I think it shows just that Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal are in danger everywhere, especially against teams who fight not to go down,” he said. “These teams are difficult to beat. The fixtures can have a part to play.

“The target is to finish as high as possible. Where that will be at the moment, I must say, behind us will depend only on our results. In front of us will depend on our results and the results on the other teams so that's impossible to predict.

“I still think yes [we can win the title], because you don’t want to give up as long as you have a mathematical chance. We are certainly still out, out, out, outsiders, I agree with you on that, that we have a very small percentage.

“If you don’t fight for a stand you have results like Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea and if you have given up because we didn’t believe it, you would be absolutely 100 percent guilty. We have a small percentage to do it, but this small percentage you have to give absolutely everything to make it possible.

“Everybody has the right to see our size as big or as small as he wants. For us, on our side, no matter how big the chance is we have absolutely to give everything to fight for it.”

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