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Chelsea 'slap' won't derail Arsenal title bid

ESPN staff
March 25, 2014 « Tremlett: Pietersen did nothing wrong | Test Wayin World Cup »
Gunners shot down

Tomas Rosicky says Arsenal's performance in their 6-0 humiliation by Chelsea was "suicidal" and the defeat hit them like a "slap in the face".

But he is backing them to bounce back against Swansea on Tuesday and fight their way back into the title race.

Kallstrom as surprised as everyone else

Kim Kallstrom joined Arsenal from Spartak Moscow while sidelined with a back injury © PA Photos
  • On-loan Arsenal midfielder Kim Kallstrom admits he was surprised to hear of the club's interest in him in January, but is determined to make his time left in north London a success as he prepares to make his debut for the club against Swansea.

    "It was nothing I could have expected," he told Swedish paper Expressen. "Of course I was surprised. But then I've still had a solid career, and they needed that type of player and I took the opportunity.

    "[The injury] was bewildering to say the least. It went by very quickly. Then all at Arsenal took care of me very well, it's been great care and rehabilitation. Everything has been well maintained and I have received good care and rehabilitation. It has gone very well."

"This is a big slap in the face but there are still eight games to go and so many points still to play for," Rosicky told Arsenal's official website.

"When I played in Germany for Borussia Dortmund and we won the title there, in the season that we won it we were five points behind first place with four games to go and we still managed to win it.

"Everything is possible but the most important thing at the moment is to bounce back straight away.

"If you see in the past almost every time we had a negative result we always had a good reaction up until now. We have the experience of turning a negative into a positive very quickly. I'm expecting the same thing to happen on Tuesday."

Arsenal's defeat by Chelsea, on the day Arsene Wenger was supposed to celebrate his 1,000th match in charge of the club, left them fourth, seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

Wenger described Saturday's game as "a nightmare," but Rosicky says there is no point dwelling on it - especially with Manchester City heading to the Emirates this weekend.

"The boss is absolutely right with what he is saying," he said. "In the first half the way we played was like a suicide and the first two goals we conceded were almost like own goals.

"It's not the first time we've done it this year so that's the disappointing part. But I'm very confident that we can turn it around again and we have two big games at home now."

In spite of the defeat, Arsenal remain in contention for the Premier League title - and Rosicky believes the side is better equipped to mount a charge during the final run-in.

"If you see the positions in the league, you can see it is very like 2007-08," he continued. "But there is a difference in that I think this team is able to fight more.

"In 2007-08 it was a great team who could play great football. We had the midfield, we had Robin van Persie up front and Emmanuel Adebayor on top form, so it was a very talented team. We lost it in the end because I got the injury, Robin and Eduardo got injured and we lost three important players and started to drop points.

"The physical part of the team was not as capable as this one. This fighting - I don't want to say spirit, maybe instinct - this aggression is more advanced than that team in 2007-08."

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