Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker admits that Arsenal are ‘far away’ from being able to challenge the top clubs for Champions League glory.Getty Images

Per Mertesacker regrets having rushed into a shot when he got the opportunity to score and put Arsenal ahead in the second half against Chelsea on Sunday, 26 April.

The Gunners were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea and John Terry put in a massive shift in front of the goal as the Blues restricted Arsenal from getting shots on target.

"Performance-wise it was a good one but it wasn't enough to get the vital three points we needed to compete for the first place," Mertesacker told Arsenal's official website.

"I rushed myself. When you are a defender in that position, you still need to learn how to deal with those situations. I rushed a bit, nobody told me that I had time. It came out of a set-piece and it was more than a coincidence. Our focus was strong today," he said.

The draw for Chelsea means that they could win the title next week, if they defeat Leicester City and Crystal Palace in their next two games, ahead of their trip to Liverpool.

Arsenal failed to create any clear opportunity in the second half but could have won it at the end had Mesut Ozil not let the ball slip between his legs in front of an open goal. Danny Welbeck also missed a cross, allowing Chelsea to clear the ball amidst confusion.

In the first half, Ramires managed to go past Arsenal's defence, but handed the ball directly to Ospina.

Mertesacker's chance was among the best opportunities that the Gunners could muster all evening and a better finisher there could have made the Blues wait a week more in their quest to lift the league title.

"Last season we were worse against the top teams, especially away from home, but at home we played on the front foot like always and we deserved that point. We defended really well against a top team. We could have done better in the final third because we had a couple of counter-attacks and we maybe lacked the last pass," the centre back said.

"We'll keep fighting towards the end and we want to stay near the top of the table. We've fought hard to get there, to be the main title contender other than Chelsea, so let's try to stay in that position. We are on a strong run so let's keep on that," he concluded.