Arsène Wenger spoke to the media following his side's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea. This is what he had to say:

on an improved second-half performance…
Tactically we changed some things. Psychologically I felt we were more on the front foot. We had a similar start to Man City last week - didn’t really go for it, didn’t really defend well and gave too much room to Chelsea. On top of that, I feel we were a bit unlucky because it was a free kick on the first goal and it was not a penalty on the second goal. We were a bit unlucky. We didn’t play well in the first half. In the second half we came out with a different spirit, a different attitude and were much more dangerous and dominated the whole second half. Unfortunately, we didn’t come back. We didn’t make enough of our corners and free kicks and didn’t make enough of the chances we created. That’s why we lost the game. It’s very damaging for our position in the league and very difficult to swallow.

on the difference in first and second-half performances…
It’s similar to last week. After you discover that a team has fantastic quality and spirit. We come into the game when we’re 2-0 down. That’s worrying of course, because in the big games, once you start at 2-0 down, it’s very difficult.

The team has to believe more in the quality we have. You could see with 10 men against Man City and today again that we can be dominant in games

on the first-half performance…
Chelsea played well and I feel we were not well positioned on the pitch. We were too stretched and individually gave them too much room to play. We didn’t defend tight enough. We were always allowing them to play when they wanted.

on the foul on Coquelin…
The referee gave many free kicks today. Some were much less than the Coquelin one. It’s frustrating. It doesn’t mean that we should have conceded the goal, but it’s frustrating because in the big games, these kind of decisions have big importance.

on the penalty…
He could have given a yellow card to Ramires as well.

on explaining the first-half display…
We had a physical problem to get going today. In the second half it was much better. When you play every three days, it’s difficult to know. There’s a psychological ingredient in there for sure. I felt that in the last two games that we didn’t really go for it from the start.

on being six points outside the top four…
The table is the table. We have lost two big games in the last week and that’s very damaging for us. We cannot afford to drop points anymore if we want to be in the top four. It’s a concern.

on if there is a leadership issue…
There’s a great spirit in the team. There’s great quality in the team. The team has to believe more in the quality we have. You could see with 10 men against Man City and today again that we can be dominant in the games. We have to [do that] from the start.

on critics saying the team can’t challenge for titles…
I wouldn’t like to comment on every opinion of people. What is important is that we focus on giving our best in the next game and our next game is on Wednesday.

on potential signings…
We’ll see what we can do. We are not close to signing anybody tonight or tomorrow morning.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Jan 2013