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Arsene Wenger eager to repair ‘mental damage’

Arsene Wenger wants his side to repair the “mental damage” of a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace when they face West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Thursday.

The Gunners blew a chance to take a major step towards securing Champions League qualification for a remarkable 19th successive season after being held at home by London rivals Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal led via Alexis Sanchez’s header in first-half stoppage time and dominated throughout before Yannick Bolasie’s equaliser in the 81st minute ensured the home side were greeted with a chorus of boos come the final whistle.

Wenger’s men are still fourth in the table, occupying the last of the automatic Champions League places on offer to English clubs, but Manchester United are just four points behind in fifth with five games remaining.

Sunday’s result ended Arsenal’s already slim hopes of winning the title and veteran Gunners boss Wenger said: “We are too disappointed to think about the league, we have to think about the Champions League and fight to be in the Champions League.

“I’m not in that kind of mood to dream about the championship but I need to repair mental damage and prepare for the next game to come against West Brom on Thursday,” the Frenchman added. “Everyone playing is winning games. It could be a fight in the end to stay and get a place in the top four.” Against Palace, it was a familiarly depressing story for Arsenal, who dominated but still dropped two points. 
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