Mikel Arteta says his players still believe they can win the title despite Manchester City leapfrogging Arsenal in the table with a 3-1 win at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners came into the game hoping to stamp their authority on the title race but fell apart in the second half as goals from Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland sealed the three points for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Having gifted Kevin de Bruyne with the opening goal, Arsenal displayed real heart and energy to get back in the game before the break and deservedly equalised via Bukayo Saka’s penalty after goalkeeper Ederson had clattered into Eddie Nketiah.
The home side couldn’t maintain that momentum after the break as the reigning champions pressed higher and harder forcing costly mistakes as the Gunners tried to work the ball out from the back.
“A huge battle – a battle that, especially until we conceded second goal, we had them – we had the feeling we could beat them but we gave them three goals and the game at the end,” Arteta told BBC Sport.
“We made certain errors at this level you can’t make. The team put the level very high at the same time.
“They were playing long balls and we suffered to get out of those zones and didn’t read the situation well enough, they punished us.”
On the title race, he added: “I have more belief than I had before the game, with the performance and the level the team put in against City. They wanted to play a different game than the one we played and with the crowd we have we can do it.
“They still have it [the belief], I can sense it. They feel they can do it.
“The difference was in the boxes, they had three chances and they put them away. We had chances and we didn’t put them away.”