By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger insists his players did not treat Wigan Athletic lightly on Monday night.
Roberto Martinez's side raced into a two-goal lead at Emirates Stadium before Thomas Vermaelen reduced Arsenal's arrears. Wigan were on the back foot for much of the second half but held on for a surprise 2-1 win.
The result leaves Arsenal five points clear of Tottenham and Newcastle having played a game more. Chelsea are a further two points adrift with a game in hand and their trip to north London on Saturday now takes on extra significance.
"Of course, we knew it anyway that the Chelsea game would be massive," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "It is even more important now.
"It's a shame, it's a defeat that is very difficult to swallow because we have done so well in the last two months. Everybody is deeply disappointed.
"I wouldn't put it down to complacency, I just think the way we defended the first two goals was not acceptable. I was still confident at 2-1 especially but unfortunately in the second half we did not have a lot to offer.
"We have given a lot recently and we were not sharp. We played with Walcott, Chamberlain, Van Persie, Gervinho and Rosicky so you couldn't put more strikers on the pitch."
Watch the full interview with Wenger on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2017 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