By Richard Clarke
A frustrated Robin van Persie has hailed the ‘crazy' saves made by Heurelho Gomes at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.
In the 68th minute of a crucial North London derby, Arsène Wenger introduced the Dutch striker for his first game in five months. It was a gamble but, trailing 2-0, there was little option.
Van Persie made an immediate impact. In the 79th minute he chested down Abou Diaby's chip and volley goalwards. Four minutes later he curled a fierce free-kick towards the top corner. Each time Gomes gymnastically turned the ball past the post.
With the pressure building and time ticking away, the 26-year-old felt those moments prevented Arsenal salvaging something from the game and keeping their title bid alive.
"Yes, especially the first one," he told Arsenal.com. "I expected that to go in but somehow he saved it which is crazy. The free-kick was going straight into the top corner and he saved that aswell. Those were big moments.
"It is a thin line between winning and losing. We had some good chances, they had some too. I felt we deserved maybe a draw from tonight. If you look at the second half we had a number of good chances and their keeper made a couple of unbelievable saves."
Like Wenger and the rest of the football fraternity, Van Persie feels the result has all but ended Arsenal's title bid. He said: "I don't think Chelsea will drop more than six points now."
But he does argue that pushing the top two into the final few weeks of the campaign shows improvement and achievement.
"Definitely, if you look at last year," he said. "No one really expected this. But when you are this close you really want to win it. When you don't do that it is frustrating.
"It felt good and I am happy to be back. But when you are there and your team is behind you want to do something to help them.
"Unfortunately I could not do that this evening."
Van Persie - 'Crazy' Gomes saves cost us
By Richard Clarke