Arsene Wenger has admitted the Premier League trophy is now out of Arsenal’s reach this season following the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
Alexis Sanchez’s header gave Arsenal an unconvincing lead at an eerily quiet Emirates Stadium and their failure to convert high possession into more goals was punished by Yannick Bolasie’s strike in the final 10 minutes.
After their latest setback, Wenger admitted that Crystal Palace’s equaliser means the Gunners will focus on securing a place in next season’s Champions League with the gap to fifth-placed Manchester United now just four points.
“I don’t know how it works mathematically but we are too disappointed to think about the league, we have to think about the Champions League and fight to be in the Champions League,” said Wenger.
“We lacked a change of pace, sharpness, they defended well. We put a lot of effort in but came out with a frustrating result. It is hard to accept, the competition goes on and we focus on the next one.
“It is very difficult, we had a lot of possession but did not make enough of it.
“We have another home game on Thursday night and have to prepare for that.”
Petr Cech was recalled between the sticks for Arsenal, but came in for criticism after seeing Bolasie’s strike from distance squirm through his outstretched right glove.
Wenger, though, was reluctant to fully proportion the blame on his goalkeeper.
“On their goal, it did not look unstoppable,” Wenger added. “Maybe the shot surprised him, but we maybe should have stopped the shot. It is difficult to blame individuals.”