Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted his side were now genuine title contenders after goals from Cesc Fabregas and Fran Merida helped them beat Bolton 2-0 at the Reebok Stadium.
Sunday's success left the third-placed Gunners just three points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with a game in hand. They will go top, on goal difference, if they beat Bolton again at the Emirates Stadium yesterday in a fixture re-arranged following the recent cold snap in Britain.
After losing 3-0 at home to Chelsea on November 29, Wenger's men were written off as potential champions but have since gone eight matches unbeaten to transform their season.
However, having seen Fabregas mark his return to the Arsenal side in style to help ruin Owen Coyle's first match in charge of Bolton, Wenger said: "We are now in a quite interesting position that nobody expected us to be in. When the season started we were not all convinced maybe in our squad that we could be where we are today.
"But now we are where we are, we want to have a go. We are a big club and when you are a big club, the most difficult thing is like last season in October and November, when you know you don't fight for the title.
"But now we have a chance to fight for the championship, so let's have a go." Fabregas had missed Arsenal's three previous matches with a hamstring problem but the break did not appear to have done him any harm as he ran the show for the visitors on Sunday, including playing a part in setting-up fellow Spaniard Merida for the Gunners' second goal 12 minutes from time.
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