Wenger: Arsenal must overcome ‘mental damage’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that his side must overcome the “mental damage” they suffered after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday. 

The Gunners found themselves in front on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Alexis Sanchez’s goal, but despite bossing the possession stakes, Wenger's side failed to increase their advantage and could only watch on as Yannick Bolasie brought Palace level in the 82nd minute. 

The result sees Arsenal end the week in fourth place on the Premier League standings and all but ends their title hopes. So slim are the Gunners' chances of hoisting league silverware that Wenger has shifted focus to ensuring his side finish in the top four.

"After the game today I'm not in that kind of mood to dream about the championship," he told reporters. "I'm more in the kind of mood to repair the mental damage and prepare for the next game.

"It's much more about that and to look behind us. Because everyone is playing well and winning games. For us it will be a fight until the end to stay in the top four. If we can do more, we'll do more. But let's not dream and focus on the next game."

Wenger admitted that he was frustrated by the fact that Arsenal were on the verge of securing three valuable points until a lapse in concentration proved costly as it allowed Palace to get back in the game. 

"I'm very, very disappointed. It's one of those days where you would like to not do a press conference after the game because it's nothing pleasant," he said. "I felt we had 70 percent possession and we didn't make enough of it. We lacked a bit of accuracy in our final ball and as well the change of pace.

"We didn't play with enough freedom and flow. And in the end we got caught with basically a unique shot on goal from Crystal Palace. They played deep and they defended well, and they got us on the break. That's the story of the game, even if it's very frustrating."

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