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Wenger reaches a milestone
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 03 - 2014

LONDON — Arsene Wenger has the chance to ram Jose Mourinho's words down his throat Saturday when his Arsenal side travels to Stamford Bridge looking to snatch control of the Premier League title race from Chelsea.
There would be no better way for Wenger to mark his 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal than to ruin Mourinho's unblemished home league record as Chelsea boss after the Portuguese dismissed him as a “specialist in failure” last month.
The mind games in this season's engrossing Premier League title battle have been simmering in the background but it is on the pitch where points are won and lost and the outcome of this Saturday's lunchtime derby could prove pivotal come May 11.
Chelsea appeared to have taken a vice-like grip in the title race until last weekend's controversial 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa and wins for chasers Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City squeezed things up at the top of the table.
Mourinho's side still has a four-point lead over Arsenal and Liverpool, although they both have a game more to play.
City is at home to bottom club Fulham Saturday while surging Liverpool will be looking for a sixth consecutive victory when it goes to a Cardiff City side fighting for survival.
Wenger branded Mourinho's comments “silly” and “disrespectful” last month after the Portuguese coach had mocked the Frenchman's eight-season trophy drought. “Am I afraid of failure? He is a specialist in failure. I'm not.
So if one supposes he's right and I'm afraid of failure, it's because I don't fail many times,” Mourinho said.
Wenger had sparked the exchange when he questioned Mourinho's motives for saying his Chelsea side was “a little horse” in the title race with Manchester City a “jaguar.”
Arsenal appeared to be slipping out of contention after back-to-back defeats, but a 1-0 win at north London rival Tottenham Hotspur last weekend put it back in the mix for its first title since 2004 — the year Mourinho arrived in London calling himself the Special One.
Victory at Stamford Bridge, where Mourinho has never lost a league game, would put it within a point of the summit with a game in hand which would be an impressive feat given injuries to Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil. — Reuters


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