Arsene Wenger effectively concedes Premier League title to Chelsea

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger effectively conceded that he fully expects Chelsea to run away with the Premier League this season, after slipping 12 points behind the early pace-setters following a late collapse against Swansea City.

Wenger watched his side throw away a lead for the second time in five days, with goals from Swansea pair Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bafetimbi Gomis rendering an Alexis Sanchez opener redundant.

The Gunners have now dropped nine points from winning positions in the Premier League this season and are eight points worse off than this stage last season, which left Wenger with nowhere to hide in his post-match press conference.

'Nobody can touch them'

Wenger was left with little choice but to concede that without a drastic downturn in form Chelsea will be crowned champions in May, but it was his admission that the Blues have a stronger spirit than his under-fire Arsenal squad that seemed most alarming.

The veteran tactician told BBC Sport: "Look at the season and Chelsea are on course for 105 points. Look at the number of points they have today and if they keep that up nobody will touch them, that's for sure.

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"They have had a good start and as long as you don't lose you don't question yourself. Maybe a little bit more extra spirit in the team helps them when it gets tight."

Arsenal fans now have a miserable 12 days to wait for their side to put things right, but that may be a blessing in disguise for Wenger as he continues to wait for a number of first-team regulars to come back from long-term injury problems.

Laurent Koscielny's absence has perhaps been the most keenly felt, but there can be no excuses for a club of Arsenal's stature winning just four of their first 11 Premier League games.

Wenger will be all too aware of that and there's no question that any momentum Arsenal took into the season following their FA Cup success has now effectively been thrown away, leaving the Frenchman with huge questions to answer about why his side have failed so miserably to match Chelsea as genuine title contenders with the season less than three months old.

Arsene Wenger
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