Belfast Telegraph

Wenger: City match won't decide title

Arsene Wenger says the title race will not be over should Arsenal beat Manchester City on Sunday - but wants his men to focus 100% on delivering the right performance.

Leaders Manchester United could open up an eight-point gap with a home victory over struggling QPR a couple of hours before City kick off at Emirates Stadium. Blues boss Roberto Mancini feels should his side lose, it would be almost impossible to overhaul the deficit in the remaining six games.

Wenger, though, does not believe things can be put so simply.

He said: "It will not be over, but it will make things very, very difficult. City will [fight until the last], certainly, but I believe we should wait and see what happens over the weekend.

"Unfortunately we are not involved in the title race and we will let them sort it out between themselves, but at the moment Manchester United have the advantage."

Wenger insists there can be no thoughts of ending City's title dreams when his men look to recover from the 2-1 defeat at QPR last weekend, which halted a run of seven straight league wins which saw them climb back up into third place.

"Our job is always to cope with the consequences of the game, but before you just focus on what you want to do well," he said. "The momentum is still there because in the last eight games we have won seven, so it was an interruption and a disappointment.

"We want to come back to what was our recent level, that means playing well and therefore winning the game."

Mancini has endured his own set of personnel issues this season - and the City boss joked if he was in the same dressing room as Mario Balotelli he may well have punched the mercurial forward, who continues to make as many headlines off the pitch as on it.

Wenger is no stranger to dealing with testing personalities during his 16 seasons with the Gunners, and believes sometimes from the outside it is all too easy to make a quick judgement. "You don't always have to believe what you read because people like the excesses of people," he said.

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