Arsene Wenger has blamed the fatigue provoked by a congested run of away fixtures for his Arsenal team’s defeat at Everton.
The Gunners suffered their first league reverse since the opening day of the season when they surrendered the lead afforded them by Alexis Sanchez’s first-half opener at Goodison Park to lose 2-1 on Tuesday.
It means Arsenal could fall six points behind leaders Chelsea should Antonio Conte’s in-form men win at Sunderland on Wednesday, and may even find themselves pushed down to third if Liverpool win by three goals at Middlesbrough.
Wenger, 67, told SFR Sport his squad were paying for having last weekend’s 3-1 win against Stoke City as their only home game in five competitive outings.
“You have to accept in football that you can win and lose. The most important thing remains the next game,” said Wenger, whose team travel to Manchester City next.
“I have to pick up the troops, focus on Sunday. But we have played at West Ham, Basel, here and then Manchester City. It means we will have played one game in five at home, and that takes a lot of energy.”