Robin van Persie admits Wednesday night's defeat to Tottenham has all but ended Arsenal's title hopes as the striker returned after a five-month injury lay-off.
The Gunners went down 2-1 at White Hart Lane despite Nicklas Bendtner pulling a late goal back after Danny Rose and Gareth Bale had given Spurs a two-goal lead. Arsene Wenger's side are now six points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea with four games remaining.
Van Persie told www.arsenal.com: "I don't think Chelsea will drop more than six points now."
The defeat was compounded by Thomas Vermaelen sustaining a calf strain which will keep the defender out for two to three weeks.
Van Persie, though, believes the fact Arsenal have remained in contention until this stage of the season underlines the improvement they have made in the last 12 months.
"If you look at last year, no-one really expected this," he said. "But when you are this close you really want to win it. When you don't do that it is frustrating.
"It felt good and I am happy to be back. But when you are there and your team is behind you want to do something to help them. Unfortunately I could not do that."
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