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Arsenal Still Believe In Title Hopes

After beating Chelsea, Mikel Arteta commented on Arsenal’s chances of winning the league title: “We have four games to go, we are top of the league, it was one of the things we talked about tonight – can we go back and go where we’ve been for many months”

The Gunners defeated their struggling London rivals to return to the top of the table, but if West Ham wins on Wednesday, Manchester City will overtake them once more.

The North Londoners currently have no control over the title battle, but Arteta stated to Sky Sports following a much-needed victory that they still have hope of winning the Premier League trophy for the first time since 2004.

“We have four games to go, we are top of the league, it was one of the things we talked about tonight – can we go back and go where we’ve been for many months and now we have to wait and see, we know it’s not in our hands,” he said.

“We’re going to try to [take it all the way] against Newcastle, we have another tough match, but we’ll be preparing to win.”

The Gunners scored three goals, with former captain Granit Xhaka providing a hat-trick of assists. Player of the Match Martin Odegaard, who scored twice against the Blues, told Sky Sports that they were confident the title chase was still in play with four games remaining.

“The first 60 minutes we had a very good game. We deserved the three points today. We needed a reaction and the team, with the fans, had a good reaction,” Xhaka said.

“We did not have our best day against Man City, they were the best team last week. But we still have belief.”

Odegaard added: “Especially the first half was brilliant. We showed a different spirit to last time. The second half was a bit messy but we needed this one.

“Everyone was so hurt after the City game but we used that anger to bounce back. You can lose games but we weren’t ourselves. I think we showed a different side today.

“We have to keep going. We will fight until the end for the title.”

In order to strengthen his team’s defences, Arteta made three adjustments to the Arsenal lineup that lost to City. Although his team did lose a second-half goal to Noni Madueke, Arteta noticed a significantly improved performance from his squad over the course of the entire 90 minutes.

When asked what about the triumph had most delighted him, he responded “That we were us. That’s what I demanded. I wanted to see that energy, that determination, that fluidity, that movement, that purpose in our play.

“That was there from the beginning. That led to connecting with our crowd and obviously you know what happens when we are able to do that. The goals were really helpful because they set the tone for the rest of the game.

“We knew that if we dominated them and got in the final third then they were going to have issues. In the last 30 minutes we allowed them to run and, with the players they have, in transition moments you are going to have problems.

Jakub Kiwior, the Arsenal centre-back who was making his first Premier League start since joining from Spezia in January, was singled out by Arteta for taking the chance to play after three months of being absent from the regular starting lineup.

In place of the under-fire Rob Holding, the Polish international jumped right into defence and helped limit Chelsea to a few half-chances in addition to Madueke’s second-half goal.

“It was a big task for him,” Arteta said. “We threw him in against big players but we believed he was ready. His partnership with [Gabriel] worked out really well. [Jorginho] gave us a bit of control and leadership in midfield. I’m very pleased with them.”

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