Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes were hampered by injuries to key players and their fixture schedule.
A 3-0 victory at Hull City on Sunday ensured Arsenal remain in fourth position, but Wenger insists his side could have been battling leaders Liverpool for top spot had a hectic run of games due to challenging for silverware at home and in Europe not proved a distraction.
As well as competing for honours in the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup, Arsenal has also had to deal with injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil at crucial parts of the season.
Wenger’s men, who were top of the table on New Year’s Day, are now in a battle for the final UEFA Champions League place with Everton after an inconsistent second half to the campaign.
Liverpool are five points clear at the top and Wenger believes the Merseyside club’s lack of European football and luck with injuries has aided their title challenge.
“The table is very close,” he said.
“Liverpool played very well in second half of the season and you wouldn’t like to take anything away from them, but they could focus completely on the Premier League.
“If you look at the injuries plus the players we missed, plus the schedule we had of course it was much heavier than Liverpool.”