Arsenal Laurent Koscielny
Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny reacts after Chelsea's opening goal in the Capital One Cup fourth round, October 29Reuters

Arsene Wenger did not take too kindly to a reporter asking him how it felt, yet again, for the ninth time if you are counting, to not get the better of Jose Mourinho, with the Arsenal manager replying: "I don't think he scored the first goal. [Cesar] Azpilicueta did."

In a battle of supposed equals, it was Chelsea's far superior squad that told in the end as they topped Arsenal 2-0 in the Capital One Cup fourth round at the Emirates.

For all of Arsenal's bright start to the season, their campaign comes to a head now - two of the examinations they have already failed, four more await.

Arsenal next face Liverpool at the weekend, before travelling to Germany to take on Borussia Dortmund, the side that beat them 2-1 last week. That big Champions League game is followed by an encounter at Manchester United before high-flying Southampton come for a visit at the Emirates.

Critics, who have been waiting to write Arsenal's epitaph for this season, will be readying their scathing pens, but Wenger insists the confidence in the squad has not been dented, and this Arsenal side will bounce back.

"Let's not jump too quickly to conclusions because if you take the points we have made since the first of January, we have made more than anyone else," Wenger said. "I believe that a longer distance reveals more about the quality of a team than the last few games. It is difficult to swallow that happened to us in the last week, but the mistakes are so big that it can be corrected. We have to keep the basis of our game and go into it with that and get our mistakes out.

"In football it is always difficult to be definite. People always go quickly to definite conclusions. Against Aston Villa, we were relegated, we have a revolution [but] today we are in a strong position in the league. It is down to how we get rid of those mistakes without losing belief in our qualities. That is what is at stake.

"Don't go too quickly in the conclusions knowing that at the moment we have [Theo] Walcott, [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] and [Lukas] Podolski who are out. It's three players who have a big impact offensively. If you put them in I believe that it's a completely different position in the team."

Against big teams, it is always difficult to come back from a goal down, and Arsenal have struggled off late to cut out those silly mistakes and make sure they don't put themselves under pressure.

On Tuesday, an error from Carl Jenkinson allowed Cesar Azplicueta to score the opening goal, only the second league goal of his seven-year career, thus giving Chelsea the comfort needed on an already tense encounter, which saw both sides make wholesale changes to the starting XI.

"It is [a worry to concede goals early]. It is not one you can correct, it is not easy to correct, but it is feasible," Wenger said. "We have not to let that play too much on our minds. Just go into the next game, play good football and be focused. I think it made us a bit nervous, because we kicked a few balls out at the back that were not needed.

"I think it was a very tight game that was decided on one or two mistakes but overall we cannot play all the games with the same players, at the some stage you have to rotate. No, that's not a regret overall -- there's a lot of positives in the game, there is as well negatives because we lost it and that we repeated a little bit giving the first goal away.

"In the big games you give yourselves a mountain to climb, especially when you play against a team who defends well and is good on the counterattacks. But overall it was a game played at a lot of pace where the players put the effort in."

The game against Liverpool, another one at home, now has an even more important edge to it - not only is it first vs third, but it is also a game where Arsenal need to establish their title credentials. Defeat Liverpool on Saturday and everything will start to look rosy again; lose, though, and that wobbling feeling might just be impossible to stop.