Arsene Wenger is proud of the run of form his team are on, but the Arsenal manager has revealed the reason as to why the Gunners are unlikely to overhaul Chelsea in the Premier League title race this season.

Speaking after the 4-1 demolition of Liverpool at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday, a win that pretty much cemented their place in the top four, Wenger bemoaned the start his team made to the season.

Chelsea managed a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to Stoke City later in the day and moved back to seven points ahead of Arsenal with a game in hand. Jose Mourinho’s men look as though they will just get over the line, but Wenger believes it could be closer at the top were it not for their first six games of the season.

“We missed important players at the start of the season when we dropped too many points. When you look at the points we’ve made since everyone is back, I believe that shows you we have the quality to fight at the top,” he told reporters.

The victory over Liverpool was Arsenal’s seventh consecutive win in all competitions and the 15th in the 17 matches they have played since losing 2-0 away at Southampton on New Year’s Day. This run has had some people claiming they could mount a late title challenge, but Wenger is staying realistic.

“We want to keep the momentum — win, win, win and win again. We know the top four is in our hands now,” added the Frenchman.

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“The title is not in our hands. We are looking up, but we are looking at our next game because that is all we can control. What we can master mathematically is the top four. Let’s focus on what we can master — our own performance.”

Brendan Rodgers conceded after the match that Liverpool’s Champions League qualification hopes had all but evaporated, as defeat meant they are now nine points behind the Gunners in second and eight behind Manchester United in third.

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