Although pleased with the progress of his Arsenal side this season, manager Arsene Wenger is frustrated with what he says are injuries that have hampered the Gunners' Premier League challenge.
Fourth-placed finishers for the past two seasons, Arsenal currently sit third, level on 67 points with second-placed Manchester City, but with a game in hand.
The Gunners have not lost in the league since a 2-1 away defeat away to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in February, but despite their fine run of form they are 13 points behind champions-elect Chelsea.
However, Wenger told a news conference at Arsenal's London Colney training ground north west of the capital on 1 May that the club had progressed.
He said: "We feel personally, I feel personally, that we have made progress and so I look at it in a positive way, because what you want from a team is to show during the season to grow together and become better. We faced a big challenge because Chelsea in front of us didn't drop their level and were more consistent from the start to the end and that's why we didn't catch them back. But overall I think we feel that we have made progress."
The Frenchman also repeated his belief that the club had been plagued by injuries. He said: "I said many times that we had big injuries at the start of the season after the World Cup and that we got only the squad together, even we lost players like [Jack] Wilshere you know, in November and after again. So, I think we were not all together."
Chelsea can seal the title with a win against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on 3 May and Wenger believes their ability to grind out results is what sets them apart from the rest.
He said: "Once you fight for the championship you win some games – that's just, you smell that you can do it - that you do not necessarily win if you are fourth or fifth, you know. So it doesn't necessarily represent, always represent the value of a team. But the gap is a gap.
"As I just told you, they have been more consistent than us from the start to the end. They had a very strong start and that kept them going until the end."
Arsenal travel to Hull City on 4 May hoping to edge ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United in the race for second place.