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‘We made mistakes at crucial times'

Chelsea’s first two goals on Saturday came at times when we looked strong.

That just added to the frustration as Marcos Alonso and then Eden Hazard took the game - and the points - away from us.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance in midfield was one of the positives for us, and he blamed our defeat on untimely errors.

“We didn’t take our chances and made some crucial mistakes at crucial times,” said the Ox.

“They took their chances - I think the first goal was a little bit unlucky on our part. They hit the crossbar and the bounce went for them. Alonso got the jump on Hector and that was 1-0. But we knew we were still in the game, and at half-time we said we had to keep going.

“We came out in the second half and controlled spells of the game. They controlled spells but it was a great goal from Eden Hazard, which we should have stopped earlier at source. That was disappointing. Then a mistake at the end killed the game for us. Olivier got one back but at the end it was too late. At the top level, against a team like Chelsea, there’s a good chance they’ll punish you if you make mistakes and they did that today.”

As for the title, Oxlade-Chamberlain admits that it’s now a long shot.

“It’s slipped further out of our hands and there’s no hiding from that now,” he said. “The gap is much bigger now and it’s going to be hard. But we play for Arsenal Football Club - if we don’t go until the end, we don’t deserve to be here. We’ve got to keep doing that.”

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