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Arsenal looks to delay Chelsea’s title coronation

23 April 2015, 14:05

Manchester — With Chelsea holding a 10-point lead in the Premier League with six games left, it's surely no longer a question of whether the team will win the title.

To many, it's about when it will happen.

Beat Arsenal on Sunday in a match between the league's top two teams and Chelsea can clinch the championship at Leicester on Wednesday, with four games and 3½ weeks of the campaign spare.

Lose — and that hasn't happened to a Jose Mourinho-managed Chelsea team in 12 meetings with Arsenal — and it's likely the coronation will merely be delayed until one of the two upcoming home games, against Crystal Palace on May 3 and Liverpool on May 10.

"I feel we are almost there," Mourinho said, "but there are no 'almosts' in football."

All the same, the engraver is probably sharpening his blade and preparing to chisel "Chelsea" on the trophy for the first time since 2010.

After blowing away its rivals with attractive, attacking football for much of the first half of the season, Mourinho's side has been far from its best in recent weeks but is still churning out the victories. Saturday's 1-0 win over Manchester United, which effectively ended its slim hopes of reeling in Chelsea, was a case in point.

Chelsea had just 29.7 percent possession against United, a miserly amount considering the talent in Mourinho's team and the fact the match was being played at Stamford Bridge. But United walked straight into Chelsea's trap and was hit on the counter-attack through Eden Hazard's goal.

Expect Chelsea to cede possession to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, too. It won't bother Mourinho one bit.

A win for Arsenal wouldn't just stall the Blues' procession to the title, it would also be a relief for Wenger to finally get one over his counterpart at the 13th attempt. Wenger was labeled a "specialist in failure" by Mourinho last season, and it wasn't the first time the pair have clashed. Wenger even pushed Mourinho in the chest in a touchline confrontation during the teams' meeting at Stamford Bridge in October.

Unsurprisingly, they didn't shake each other's hand after the final whistle.

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- AP


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