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Hughes blasts at Wenger after City cruise

Arsene Wenger's miserable week continued as he found himself branded as "ungracious" by Mark Hughes after Manchester City's comfortable 3-0 home victory over Arsenal. Gunners boss Wenger, who stripped William Gallas of the captaincy at Eastlands, claimed the scoreline "flattered" City and Hughes told the BBC: "Maybe he is being a little bit ungracious because I remember Robinho going around (Manuel) Almunia to make it even more emphatic.

"We had another couple of good opportunities, so I do not think the scoreline flattered us at all. We created six or seven chances."

Gallas did not travel with the squad after making critical remarks about the team in midweek when he questioned their fighting spirit but Wenger stated the French defender still had a future at the club he refused to discuss the reasons behind his absence.

"I will not speak about William Gallas in a post-match interview, " said Wenger. He is a player who did not play today, so what can he do? Nothing.

"Why should we not talk about (Cesc) Fabregas and the other nine players who are not here. We can go on until midnight and I will give the same answer to the same question."

Wenger refused to concede they are out of the title race even though they have seen Aston Villa move into fourth place.

He said: "We have to keep our belief. With a strong team in a strong club, you have sometimes to go through a period like this. It is how well you deal with that situation you determine your future.

"I believe we have to try to win our next game and not set targets and see where we go."

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