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Soccer-Consistency key in unpredictable title race, says Wenger


LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Arsene Wenger watched with interest on Monday as Chelsea's win over Manchester City kept his Arsenal side top of the Premier League table and ensured this season's title race remained as unpredictable as ever.

Arsenal have 55 points from 24 matches and are two clear of Chelsea and City, and Frenchman Wenger, who has not won the league title since 2004, is not expecting a runaway winner.

"It (the title race) is never as simple as everyone predicts it," Wenger told the club's official website (

"I said a long time ago that nobody will be absolutely above (the others). It will be down to consistency."

Chelsea became the first team to keep a clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium since Birmingham City in November 2010, with Branislav Ivanovic's 32nd-minute goal enough to inflict a first home league defeat of the season on Manuel Pellegrini's side.

"Chelsea looked always dangerous and Man City looked for me a bit jaded," Wenger said.

"They were not as fluent or as strong physically as they were at Tottenham but it could have gone to 1-1, it could have gone 2-0 for Chelsea.

"At the end of the day, they (Chelsea) had 65 percent possession with 25 shots on goal so sometimes that can be a 1-1 (draw), but I must say Chelsea had opportunities for the 2-0 (win)."

Arsenal travel to fourth-placed Liverpool on Saturday and, with fixtures to come against Manchester United and Sunderland this month, Wenger knows this stage of the season is crucial to their title chances.

"At the moment this is the period, January, February, March, where every game is a battle for everybody because everybody fights for something," he added.

"You just want to win the games."

(Reporting By Michael Hann; editing by Josh Reich)

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