Arsenal, Chelsea look to find form at the top

Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:43pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Josh Reich

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal and Chelsea fill two of the Premier League's top three spots but will be hoping to shrug off indifferent form as they get the busy Christmas period underway when they clash on Monday (2000 GMT).

The feelgood factor around Arsene Wenger's Arsenal was dented following their 6-3 battering at the hands of Manchester City on Saturday, a result that trimmed their advantage at the top to two points.

That loss came on the back of a 2-0 Champions League defeat by Napoli, a result that knocked them into second place in the group and a resulting last 16 match-up with European champions Bayern Munich.

Wenger pointed the finger at a congested schedule for recent results, rather than any longer-term malaise, but was hoping for a tighter defensive effort after coughing up eight goals in two matches.

"We didn't defend well from up front and did not show enough solidarity defensively," Wenger said after the City loss.

"That's too easy going. We had the best defense until now in the league and to give six goals like we did is just difficult to accept because we lost our discipline and in the big games and you pay for that.

"The schedule didn't help us, let's be fair as well," he added. "You could see that the legs were tired and you play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday morning, it's too difficult."

Arsenal could be without Jack Wilshere, who faces a two-game suspension for making an offensive gesture towards City fans at the Etihad Stadium.   Continued...

Chelsea's Juan Mata (L) celebrates scoring against Arsenal during their English League Cup fourth round soccer match at Emirates Stadium in London, October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville