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Wenger wary of lurking Everton

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal are now looking over their shoulders at fifth-placed Everton after a 2-2 Premier League draw with Swansea City.

Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud found the net in quick succession during the second half to turn Tuesday’s game at the Emirates Stadium on its head after Wilfried Bony had given Swansea an early lead, but Mathieu Flamini scored an own goal to pull the visitors level at the death.

The result leaves Arsenal six points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, but it is Roberto Martinez’s Everton – six points further back with a game in hand – who are causing Wenger most concern.

“At the moment, that (the title race) is not the biggest worry we have because we have to be realistic a little bit,” he said. “We have to look behind us and try to look in front of us.

“Everton wins (at Newcastle United on Tuesday), so we have to focus and prepare well for the next game.

“Manchester City had a good result tonight (beating Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford) – they’re looking unstoppable.

“They are favourites because they still have two games in hand, so them and Chelsea are the favourites now for the title.

“We do not have much room now to come back into it. We have to do as well as we can and accept our position at the end of the season.”

Despite conceding a stoppage-time equaliser, Wenger was pleased with his players’ efforts in the wake of a 6-0 thumping at Chelsea on Saturday.

“The result is very disappointing, but the spirit we put in and the effort we put in was great and we have to take it on the chin,” he continued.

“Maybe we were too focused to keep the result and our confidence level had been affected certainly by Saturday.”

Swansea boss Garry Monk fumed at the timing of the final whistle, with Jonathan de Guzman seemingly through on goal just inside the Arsenal half, but Wenger added that he felt Thomas Vermaelen would have got back to make a challenge.

Tue 25 March, 2014
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