Arsene Wenger blames early kick-off for Chelsea defeat

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Wenger bewildered by early kick-off form.
Wenger bewildered by early kick-off form..

Arsene Wenger believes 12-45pm kick-off times have contributed to Arsenal's downfall this season, mainly against Liverpool and Chelsea.

Arsenal succumbed to a 6-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge – Chelsea's biggest ever win against the Gunners – in a game that kicked-off the Premier League matchday on Saturday afternoon.

It was the third time Arsenal have been heavily beaten away to a title rival losing 6-3 to Manchester City earlier this season and 5-1 away to Liverpool. Although all three games are similar, Wenger says the Liverpool game has much more in common with Saturday's disappointment.

He told reporters: "I believe Man City was different. Liverpool, yes.

"The common thing was that it was a 12.45 game and twice we were caught at the start of the game.

"We think about that and at the moment there's no rational explanation other than the quality of our opponents and that we were caught at the start of the game. Why? We don't really know."

Arsenal were 3-0 down and down to 10 men with half-an-hour of the game on Saturday. Wenger says that although there are few excuses for Arsenal's performance, they are still incredibly disappointed with the result.

He added: "We are intelligent enough and care enough about the club to of course be disappointed with our performance.

It looked like we missed the start of our game and were caught on the counter attack. We had a desire to play and to go. We were caught on the break.

"After that of course the game became very long because down to ten men, down to 3-0 it became of course an impossible task.

"You just wonder, 'OK let's finish it'. We tried to come back and we always continue to go and have a go and I give credit to the players for that at least.

"We tried to score a goal but it was too difficult. When you have to attack with ten men and you're down 3-0 you know you have more chances to concede another goal. That's what happened. "

Arsenal have the perfect chance to bounce back against on Tuesday night as they take on Swansea at the Emirates Stadium. They then entertain fellow title rivals Manchester City on Saturday evening. Six points from those two games would arguably catapult them back into the title race.

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