after the deja vu at Stamford Bridge (Drogba the killer in a fruitless Arsenal domination) which hardly needed a match report, here was the Arsenal manger’s immediate words.

“I don’t want to compare [the two teams] too much. I just think we have made a demonstration that you can play well and lose the game. The game should be over before we started it – we had the first two chances in the first minute and I don’t know how we managed to miss the header from six yards. At that level you can get punished.

“I think we were a bit unfortunate as well because the first goal was a foul on Song from Ramieres – 100 per cent foul. After that we made a mistake that should not happen at the near post and Drogba took advantage of it.’

“After the second half it was one-way traffic and in the last ten to 15 minutes Chelsea were counter attacking. But we missed too many chances at that level and in the final third you need to be more clinical offensively and defensively. We had a great team performance and great energy.

“You could see that Chelsea finished with cramps because they had to run a lot, so I give credit to my team. But we have to be more clinical to win championships – we can’t lose a game like that.”

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