Nathan Ake insists Arsenal remain favourites for the Premier League title despite Manchester City beating their rivals at the Emirates Stadium to go top of the table.
City were 3-1 victors on Wednesday night as Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions returned to the summit for the first time since November 5.
Kevin De Bruyne pounced on an error from Takehiro Tomiyasu to brilliantly open the scoring, with Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland wrapping up the win after Bukayo Saka’s penalty had drawn the hosts level before the break.
City now sit top of the table on goal difference but crucially, according to Ake, Arsenal still have a game in hand as they push for a first league title in 19 years.
Asked if the win makes City favourites for the crown, the Netherlands defender replied: “No.
“They (Arsenal) still have a game in hand so they still have three points on us so we don’t want to get carried away, we will keep doing what we are doing, go game by game and take it from there.
“We knew beforehand it was going to be a very big game and we just wanted to win the game and get the three points and we did.”
While Arsenal are without a league title in almost two decades, City have won four of the last five and Ake feels that could work in their favour having hit the front.
“It is always what you want,” he replied when asked if City could gain a psychological edge from going top.
“We know there is still a long way to go, they have a game in hand but for us it is good to come to a tough place like this, get the win – that is important.
“It is small margins, it was so tight and both teams can create something out of nothing. We still have a long way to go but we do have that (title-winning) experience.”
Arsenal have now lost three of their last four games in all competitions, taking just one point from their last three league outings.
That comes after they had dropped just seven points from their opening 19 games of a season they hope will end in title glory.
“It’s very frustrating, very disappointing,” Gabriel Martinelli admitted after the loss.
“We wanted to win the game. But there are still a lot of games to play. We know our strengths and we will bounce back. I think we need to stick together. We are going to fight until the end.
“We are going to bounce back. We know our team; we know our qualities and we are going to stick together. We are a family, and we are going to fight until the end.
“Of course, in a game like this, the team that makes less mistakes are going to win the game but I think we deserved a better result.”
Martinelli wants to move on quickly from the defeat as Arsenal head to Aston Villa for Saturday’s early kick-off.
“We need to look for the next game now,” he added.
“We lost the game, but we are Arsenal. We know how big we are and our qualities. We go to the next game to win and try to beat Villa.
“There are still many games to go. We know our qualities and we are going to stick together, and try to improve for the next games.
“For sure, it is going to be tough games (at Villa and then Leicester). But we are ready. We know our team and we go for it.”
The PA news agency understands the Football Association will open an investigation into an incident which saw objects thrown at De Bruyne as he made his way past the home supporters.