Arsene Wenger was pleased to see his Arsenal youngsters finally deliver the performance of champions to beat Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United 1-0, but could not hide the frustrations at now having no further say in the title race.
It was a welcome first home League victory since the end of February, as Arsenal's hopes of a ending a six-season barren run unravelled, leaving them fighting to secure third ahead of FA Cup finalists Manchester City.
"We have gone through a difficult period, said Wenger. "The team maybe lacks a bit of maturity under pressure, the team also had to deal with some big disappointments, and I felt that had a subconscious effect on our team."
He added: "For me, it was immense pressure to be out of the title race, believe me, because I felt so strongly we would win this championship.
"I have not given up any hope, because we want to fight until the last second of the season.
"We were really unlucky this season until now, let's hope we have a bit more luck in the final three weeks - you never know."
Wenger praised his team, which was Arsenal's youngest line-up of the season and also of all clubs in the Premier League.
"We had a good performance, with everything in it - discipline, fighting spirit and our usual passing game," he said.
"Until we scored the goal, I feel we controlled the game completely, then because we had not won a lot recently we tried to protect our advantage and were a bit under pressure.
"If you look at the age of the team, I think it is a big encouragement for the club because we had a very young midfield and were still very positive in our play."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms