Olivier Giroud - The Footballing World

Arsenal are Chelsea’s rivals for the title – Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed Arsenal are still in the English Premier League title race after he watched his side miss a chance to go eight points clear at the top of the league table.

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday’s league encounter after the hosts’ Diego Costa’s opener was cancelled out by a Dusan Tadic penalty, which left the Portuguese boss once again frustrated by refereeing decisions.

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team have failed to win just one of their last nine league games after their 3-0 win over West Ham United at the Emirates earlier on the day of the Chelsea match, moving seven points of the top and one behind second-placed Manchester City.

However, following a 3-1 UEFA Champions’ League defeat at home to Monaco, Mourinho has raised questions over the Gunners’ momentum.

“Of course Arsenal are in it. They are seven points behind Chelsea, but have one less match to play than Chelsea,” he said.

“Both City and Arsenal are in the title race. It depends on the momentum for Arsenal – the 3-1 defeat against Monaco or the 3-0 win against West Ham?”

“So the danger is always there. But I keep saying, we are there. If someone had told me in August that, at the end of March, we’d be six points in front with a match in hand, I’d have signed for that immediately.”

“There are two perspectives. One perspective is a draw at home to Southampton is not a good result. For me, that perspective is very acceptable.”

“The second perspective is we had a lead of five points from second, and now it’s six points with one less match to play.”

Arsenal still have to play Chelsea at the Emirates on April 26 in the league, but Mourinho believes his team have a slightly favourable run-in.

He added: “I keep thinking whether our opposition is better than them [over the run-in], but I think so. Both teams are in the race.”

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