Mikel Arteta says Arsenal need to play “at a different level” so they can compete with league leaders Manchester City.
Arsenal lost 4-1 to City last Wednesday in a match that had major repercussions in the title race.
City, who replaced the North London side at the top of the league with a 2-1 win over Fulham last Sunday, were comfortably better than Arteta’s side at the Etihad that night.
“There are levels,” Arteta said. “We have moments where we play at a different level.
“Man City, at the moment, they have moments where they are playing on a different level.
“Liverpool can take the game to a different level. When that happens it’s important.
“It’s on today, can you raise that level on this occasion? That’s what we didn’t do the day before against (City).”
Arsenal have made great strides this season and, although their title hopes have been dented by City’s defeat, they can still equal their highest points tally in the Premier League of 90 with five games remaining.
Arteta added: “It takes time to build the perfect team. You don’t do it in a year, two years or three years. That’s seven years of a process with a lot of good decisions and we’re trying to do something different.
“You can’t copy and paste. In the UAE, we played the same thing and we could have beaten them.
“But in the end, we didn’t. Why? Because when they raised that bar a little bit more, boom, they took the game at odd moments. That’s what we have to acknowledge and not accept. Don’t accept it.”
Arsenal are next in action against Chelsea at the Emirates on Tuesday and are just a point behind City, who have a match in hand.
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