Defiant Manchester United boss David Moyes insists all is not yet lost for his team in the quest to finish in the top four of the Barclays Premier League after battling to a goalless draw at title-challengers Arsenal.
United are now 11 points behind Liverpool – who secured a dramatic late win at Fulham – after seeing Robin van Persie denied a likely winning goal against his former club by a brilliant reaction save from Wojciech Szczesny.
Following their third-round exit from the FA Cup, the Red Devils will head out to a warm-weather training break in Dubai before they resume Premier League action at Crystal Palace on February 22.
And Moyes insists the defending champions will not let up in the fight to close the gap on the leading pack.
“If there is one club in history who have been great at winning games in the second half of the season and putting pressure on the teams above it is Manchester United. We will continue to try and do that and make it work,” said Moyes, whose team had drawn 2-2 at home to Fulham on Sunday.
“We can only do our job the best we can. We want to play better. We cannot bother about other teams. We can only put pressure on by winning our games.”
Moyes added: “I believe the desire is still there in the squad.
“I see them and they are great lads. They are fantastic with their training and their commitment is first class.
“You saw how good Vida (Nemanja Vidic) was and how good Rio (Ferdinand) was when he came on. They are a great group of players and a very experienced group of players. They have been winners all of them.
“They all have medals and when you have won you want to win more. They are all still hungry and determined to be successful.”
Chances were at a premium between the two sides on Wednesday night in a match which ultimately failed to live up to its hype and a final result which leaves Chelsea top of the table by a point as third-placed Manchester City saw their home game against Sunderland postponed because of the severe weather.
Van Persie had missed a great chance inside a hectic opening period, which also saw Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud head wide from four yards.
When the Gunners – thumped 5-1 at Anfield on Saturday – did get into second gear as the hour passed, Antonio Valencia cleared a header off the line from Laurent Koscielny.
Giroud just could not get on the end of a great cross from right-back Bacary Sagna, while United keeper David De Gea twice saved from Santi Cazorla during the closing stages.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was pleased with the response of his side, if somewhat frustrated by the final result.
He said: “It was important not to lose, but it was also important to win.”
Arsenal now host Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday and then tackle Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Wenger added: “We have come out two difficult games and are still in a strong position, that is the only positive.”