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English Premiership

Arsenal still in title race, Mourinho believes

WENGER-PUSHLONDON, March 17- Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Arsenal are still contenders for the Premier League title this season but played down suggestions Arsene Wenger’s men are the team in form.

After second-placed Manchester City suffered a shock 1-0 loss at Burnley on Saturday evening, Chelsea drew 1-1 with Southampton on Sunday to extend their lead at the top of the table to six points with a game in hand.

However, Arsenal are just a point behind City, with Saturday’s 3-0 victory over West Ham making it four wins in succession in the league, and Mourinho said they were very much in the title race, particularly as he feels they have an easier run-in.

“Of course. Of course,” he said. “Seven points behind Chelsea and one less match to play than Chelsea.

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

Chelsea, meanwhile, have taken two draws and a win from their last three league games as well as exiting the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain on away goals, but Mourinho rejected the notion that Arsenal had greater momentum.

“Not for me,” he said. “Which momentum — 3-1 against Monaco or 3-0 against West Ham? It depends on the momentum.”

Mourinho, who has made clear his frustration with refereeing decisions in the Premier League this season, was again unhappy with the officials during the draw with Southampton.

He said that, because of the loss of points in such situations, Chelsea would have to be particularly careful to ensure they remained at the summit.

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“We are not complacent, I am not afraid of that,” he said. “It is not easy, every match is difficult, and in our two matches against Southampton, in one there was penalty that is not a penalty and in another game a penalty that was not given, so you are speaking about six points becoming two points, so the danger is always here, but I keep saying: we are there.

“If somebody told me in August that in March we are six points in front with one game in hand, I would sign for that immediately, no doubts.”


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