Arsenal boss Wenger insists title hopes not over


The Gunners boss made 11 changes to his starting XI ahead of Thursday's Europa League Group H home meeting with BATE Borisov, opting for players that have seen limited game time this season.

Speaking to following the game Wenger said: "I believe that it was done in a stylish way and in a technically-high quality game from our side".

The Frenchman also noted the progress of Jack Wilshere, who like Debuchy, ended a long scoring drought for the Gunners. The likes of Walcott are unable to fit into the current system Wenger deploys and his impressive performance against the Belarusian side, who were beyond abysmal at times, showed that he is ready to play when called upon. I would say for 70 minutes in the game he was dominant in midfield on the creative side.

Theo Walcott, whose dynamism and pace caused BATE problems all evening, scored Arsenal's second from close range before Wilshere buried its third from the edge of the penalty area before half-time. We were very professional tonight.

Arsenal soon clarified after the match that the "real" attendance was "just under 30,000", meaning that it was the club's lowest-attended men's senior match since leaving Highbury for the Emirates in 2006.

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The Arsenal midfielder participated in all the games played so far in the European competition.

"You forget about that once you're on the pitch".

Arsene Wenger has all but poured cold water over any chance of Arsenal having a title challenge, after claiming that he thinks the defeat to Manchester United, coupled with the late Manchester City win meant that his side were going to miss out on being champions once again. No matter how many sit in the stands, you have to give them what they expect - and that's what we did. You have looked around last night in the Champions League in game No. 6, I've seen many grounds that were not full, or half empty.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent.