Mikel Arteta says he wasn’t too disappointed after Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool on Monday night – because it showed the standard his side have to reach.
The Gunners took the lead after Alexandre Lacazette seized on a bad mistake from Andy Robertson, but they were largely outplayed at Anfield.
Arteta was honest in his post-match interview, admitting that Liverpool are simply ahead of where his side are right now.
"We were in the game for a big part of the game,” Arteta told BBC Sport. “The reality is they are superior to us in many aspects. You could see that in some phases.
"I am really happy in the way the team competed and kept believing. This is the standard we have to reach. We are on a different journey. They have been together five years; we have had a few months.”
Despite not being too disappointed with the overall result, Arteta did say there was plenty of room for his side to improve on the night.
The Gunners may have gone into the game as underdogs, but they have beaten Liverpool twice in recent months, in the Premier League and Community Shield.
"They scored too early [after Arsenal's goal], big mistake from us. I had a feeling we were going to have chances in the second half,” he said.
"We had probably the best chance of the game. You have to put them in the net when you have chances against them.
"We have a long way to go in many things."
Hector Bellerin agreed with his manager’s summation, telling Sky Sports: "I think with the chances we were creating, I felt we had chances of drawing or winning the game.
"When you come to Liverpool away you have to score your chances and not commit the mistakes we made.
"The difference is very fine margins. We made mistakes in the goals and our chances didn't go in.
"We were way more effective in other games we played against them. We gave them a good fight but we're frustrated. We're getting better every day."