Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's Premier League title hopes were hampered by injuries to key players and a busy fixture schedule.
A 3-0 victory at Hull City on Sunday ensured the Gunners remain in fourth position, but the Frenchman insists his side could have been battling leaders Liverpool for top spot had it not been distracted by a hectic run of games caused by challenging for silverware at home and in Europe.
As well as competing for honors in the Champions League and FA Cup, Arsenal also had to deal with injuries to the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil at crucial parts of the season.
Liverpool is five points clear at the top, and Wenger believes the Merseyside club's lack of European football and luck with injuries has aided its title challenge.
"The table is very close," he said. "Liverpool played very well in second half of the season and you wouldn't like to take anything away from them, but they could focus completely on the Premier League.
"If you look at the injuries plus the players we missed, plus the schedule we had, of course it was much heavier than Liverpool."
Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey both netted at the KC Stadium and Wenger was delighted with his side's performances and ruthlessness in front of goal, having appeared "toothless" previously.
"We looked dangerous to score goals again," Wenger said to Sky Sports. "We had a few away games where we looked toothless but our combination game and speed was back. We looked like that we can score.
"In the Premier League you're always a bit apprehensive before every game, you want your team to perform as well as they can. We kept a clean sheet and scored three goals, I think overall the performance was good," he added. "We were tested in the first half, (it was) a very physical game but we responded we great movement and scored. The second half we controlled well and overall it was a convincing win."
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