Does Tottenham victory put Arsenal back in the title race?

By Avenell Dave

I said last week that one unexpected result would blow the title race open again and Aston Villa's defeat of Chelsea certainly put the proverbial cat amongst the title pigeons.

It meant that victory at White Hart Lane would put Arsenal back in contention - at least numerically -  and the three points we secured on Sunday evening provide optimism and opportunity for the rest of the season.

Put simply, if we win our remaining nine games, including the pivotal Chelsea and Manchester City games, we still won't win the title if City win every other of their 11 remaining matches.

Of course putting such a run of form together is unlikely, especially as the games keep coming thick and fast.

And our record against City and Mourinho's Chelsea is poor to put it mildly.

But we are right back in the hunt and while we have a mathematical chance, we have to believe that we can do it.

Yes, Liverpool are in fine form, Chelsea are great at grinding out results and City have a seemingly limitless squad of world class players, but if the North London Derby proved anything, it was that what we lack in resources and personnel, Arsenal make up for in spirit - when the mood takes them.

I was shocked to read the Times report this morning, usually astute and spot-on, claiming that our win was unconvincing and did nothing to prove we are in with a title chance.

The same paper gave Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny six out of ten when even the most diehard Tottenham fan would have to admit that our centre halves were superb on the day, even if many others struggled to impose themselves.

Full credit to Steve Bould - we may have had a couple of aberrations so far this season but we've also remained a fine defensive unit otherwise - and it's going to be a shame to see that broken up if Bacary Sagna leaves as expected.

Whether it was fatigue or the fact that Tottenham ran as if their lives depended on getting a result, we were overrun, certainly, and relied on the defence (notwithstanding two calamitous moments from Wojciech Szczesny) keeping Tottenham at bay.

And while Manu Adebayor made a nuisance of himself, the hosts didn't exactly have loads of clear cut chances - and that's something we absolutely have to repeat in our next two games and beyond.

It's a shame we don't have a more straightforward game coming up so that the likes of Kim Kallstrom can be eased into the side and players given a rest, but then again, we are now without midweek games, so hopefully enough rest can be had.

I think we all love the fact that when it came to breaking up an opposing attack, Mathieu Flamini took a booking for the team - something he has done a few times this season.

He's now only one booking away from another suspension, though, unless he can get to the start of April, which is unlikely. I'm almost tempted not to play him against Chelsea for that very reason.

Victory over Tottenham is always sweet and wile we may remain outsiders for the title, we are in the mix and we would all have taken that at the start of the season.

There's plenty to be proud of in this Arsenal team. Imagine how good we could be with a few additions and summer investment?!