Wenger: Arsenal will battle on
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger vowed his team would continue their Barclays Premier League title fight despite admitting their chances of ending a six-year trophy drought are "very minimal".
The Frenchman said before Sunday's trip to Bolton that his team needed to win all five of their remaining matches to pip Manchester United and Chelsea but they fell at the first hurdle as Tamir Cohen netted late on in a 2-1 victory for the Trotters.
"The chances are very minimal now, that is for sure, but we have to continue to fight," said Wenger. "We dropped too many points. It is very frustrating because we should have come home with nine points this week and we came back with two. It's a bit the story of our season."
Arsenal, who went into the game on the back of draws against Liverpool and Tottenham, have been criticised for not showing enough mental strength but Wenger again defended his players and took responsibility for their predicament.
The Frenchman added: "I feel the players have had an outstanding attitude this season. They are not to blame. If somebody is to blame, it's me. I pick the team.
"It's very unsatisfactory because it's one of the easiest run-ins we've had for a long time and we didn't take our chances many times. That's frustrating because you feel the potential is there but you have to take your chances. We still lack maturity, experience and calm in important situations."
For Bolton boss Owen Coyle, the match was everything he had been hoping for in response to their 5-0 thrashing by Stoke in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring - and did his parent club Chelsea a favour in the process - but the momentum shifted at the start of the second half when Kevin Davies missed a penalty and a minute later Robin van Persie equalised but Bolton kept their cool and snatched all three points in the 90th minute when substitute Cohen headed in a corner.
Coyle said: "We were obviously intent on trying to win the game but the biggest thing for me was we gave a big performance. We showed strength of character, resilience, everything you could ask of a group after having such a horrible day.
"We could have gone 2-0 in front and then Arsenal scored within a minute and, given last week, it would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves. But we didn't do that, we got blocks in, and it was fitting that Tamir got the winner on such a wonderful day."