Following their 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia on Saturday, Arsenal now face an uphill climb in the title race.
With just 10 games left to play this term and the Blues comfortably in the driving seat at the top, the North Londoners have made hard work of their title fight and will likely have to beat both Chelsea and Manchester City to remain in the race.
The Gunners face North London rivals Tottenham in the derby at White Hart Lane in their next league game and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge six days later before hosting Manchester City at the Emirates this month and all three games are now must-win fixtures for Arsenal.
Wenger and his side will be hoping Spurs do them a favour next Saturday when Chelsea host Tottenham at the Bridge but the Blues have been in fine form in the league under Jose Mourinho unbeaten in their last 10 games, winning eight of them, as City have two games in hand.
The Gunners have now slipped down into third place behind Liverpool who are now firmly in with a shout for the title but the next three games will likely decide Arsenal’s season – they will either be in or out of the title race by the end of this month.
Failure to get a result in the derby could even put them in jeopardy of falling out of the top four with Tottenham chasing Champions League qualification. In order to close the gap on Chelsea, Wenger’s men will need three points from the leaders and a result against City at home. February had been ear-marked as the month to decide Arsenal’s fate this term but after coming through seven points from four games, defeat at the Britannia makes their March games must-win fixtures.
There is, of course, the possibility that Chelsea and City could drop points too but the Citizens have lost just one of their last ten games and Liverpool are growing stronger and stronger into the season under Brendan Rodgers.
A tough March ahead for Arsenal just got even tougher after defeat against Stoke and the Gunners cannot afford any more defeats this month against their rivals.
image: © Vincent Teeuwen