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Bernd Leno claimed Arsenal's narrow defeat showed they have closed the gap between themselves and Manchester City.
Raheem Sterling's first-half strike ultimately proved the difference, but goalkeeper Leno said Mikel Arteta's side could be proud of their display.
“On one hand we’re disappointed, but on the other we played a good game,” said Leno.
“We competed against City and at the end you can see that the gap was very small.
“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.
Leno was encouraged by Arsenal's performance at the Etihad
(Image: Getty Images)
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“We're 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.”
Leno said all that was missing from Arsenal's disciplined display was the ability to get past his opposite number Ederson, who made a series of fine saves.
“I think we missed a little bit of the lucky punch,” Leno told Arsenal's official website. “We tried at the end with set-pieces and crosses, but we couldn’t finish the action.
“It was our only main problem in the end, because I think we were better in the second-half and controlled the game, but maybe a good chance was missing.”
Do you agree with Leno, or are Arsenal still some way off the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool? Have your say here.
Leno made four saves on the evening
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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The German shot-stopper also discussed how the tight match – which pitted Pep Guardiola against his former assistant Mikel Arteta – was a spectacle for the football purist.
Leno added: "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."
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