Chelsea rout puzzles Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remains puzzled by the manner of his side's capitulation to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Celebrations of Wenger's 1,000th match in charge of the Gunners were ruined and defeat left Arsenal as a big outsider in the race for the Premier League title.

It was the latest in a series of poor performances against their main rivals, with Arsenal having been beaten 6-3 by Manchester City earlier this season and 5-1 by Liverpool when they were 4-0 down inside 20 minutes.

Wenger now expects a response from his squad on Tuesday against Swansea at the Emirates, but such was his disappointment at Saturday's result he will not speak to the press on Monday, instead just giving an interview to the club's website.

"We felt we prepared properly, but we did not turn up, so it is puzzling," Wenger said. "After 20 minutes, it was game over and it became a long, dramatic and dreadful afternoon.

"That is the most disappointing, when you prepare with the intensity that we do, you then turn up for your game of the season and are never even in it.

"This is puzzling because we were shocked and knocked down basically without feeling you have had a chance.

"The team is healthy and willing, but still the way it happened against Chelsea, we have to think deeply about because it is not the first time and (we have) to respond in a proper way on Tuesday."

Defender Per Mertesacker wonders if the early kick-off time had anything to do with his side's lacklustre performance, with all three of their heavy defeats this season having started at lunchtime.

The German said: "I don't know why, but it looks like we don't fancy early kick-offs away.

"It looks like we are going to have to apply to the FA to not play at 12.45 away. That would help us a lot.

"We wanted to start very strong and show people we are good enough, but they scored the two very early goals.

"We lost some balls when we tried to keep it desperately. They then caught us on the counter-attack. We tried to avoid that. But we missed it completely. There was not much difference before the red card, but afterwards it was even harder to come back, especially when it goes to 3-0 and 10 men so early.

"We must put this behind us now, show our character and bounce back on Tuesday night against Swansea at the Emirates Stadium. It's a good opportunity to react quickly after this result."