Arsenal's disappointing first part of the season is the reason why they failed to fight for the title until the very end, said manager Arsene Wenger after Sunday's goalless draw against Chelsea.
In the first four months of the campaign, the Gunners dropped points against the likes of Leicester City, Hull City, Swansea City and Everton and also lost key games against Chelsea and Manchester United.
They mounted an impressive comeback in 2015 but was not enough although they can still finish second above the two Manchester teams.
"They [Chelsea] are not champions yet but they will be, and you get what you deserve," Wenger said.
"They started the season strong and they made the difference in the first half of the season compared to us.
"We have closed it [the gap] since the start of the season. What happened is that they had the experience at the back, they could close the game down.
"We lacked freedom of mind today. Maybe we were too conscious of their counter-attacking and didn't play with enough freedom in the final third. We made some wrong decisions.
"We want to finish this season well and when you look at the other results - I watched Aston Villa against Manchester City, and today Manchester United - every game is difficult.
"We need to absolutely keep focused until the end of the game, and then we can see what we can do next season. Let's finish well. We have a strong end now.
"We go to Hull and then we want to secure top four before the FA Cup final because that battle is not done yet. After that, we can look at the top three or the top two. It's all to do now."