Bernd Leno believes Arsenal are closing the gap on Manchester City despite losing 1-0 to Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad.
Having got the better of Pep Guardiola’s side in the FA Cup semi-final in July, Mikel Arteta had high hopes of outfoxing his former boss once again.
While the Gunners were far from outplayed, Raheem Sterling’s first half strike was enough to secure the points on an evening of few chances.
After the game, Leno blamed a failure to produce quality in the final third.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, he said: “I think on the one hand we’re disappointed, but on the other we played a good game and we competed against City and at the end you can see that the gap was very small.
“It was very tactical with a lot of passes and it was very interesting for people who are interested in tactics.
“At the end you could see that everybody wanted to win the game and then it doesn’t matter how, whether it’s from tactics or set-pieces, and unfortunately we lost the game.
He added: “I think we missed a little bit of the lucky punch. We tried at the end with set-pieces and crosses, but like you said, we couldn’t finish the action.
“It was our only main problem in the end because I think we were better in the game in the second half and we controlled the game, but maybe a good chance was missing.”
Having been in goal when the Gunners lost 3-0 at the Etihad in the first game after lockdown restrictions eased, Leno says he sees an improvement in his teammates.
“I think when you compare the first game after the lockdown how we played here and lost 3-0 without any chances and how we played today, there’s a big, big difference,” he said.
“We are on the right way and today we lost this game, but next week we have to win and be confident in our play like this.”