Unai Emery has claimed Arsenal are some distance off competing with Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham in the Premier League, as his side slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad on Sunday.
The damning confession of his side's quality in comparison to the league's top clubs comes after his side slipped down to sixth in the Premier League table, after Sergio Aguero's hat trick consigned the Gunners to a sixth league defeat.
Speaking in his press conference after the game, as reported by Football.London, Emery admitted his Arsenal side were outdone by better team, stating his side must quickly shift their focus to their next fixture, a Premier League trip to Huddersfield.
"They showed their superiority. The difference, for example, with City, Liverpool also is big. Tottenham, also, is keeping a lot of regularity in a lot of matches," said the Spaniard.
"Our situation now is we need to think game by game, keep our regularity and consistency in 38 matches. Today we lost but it's normal, they showed their superiority."
The 47-year-old also revealed his players were aware of City's superior quality, so much so it had a negative effect on them during the game.
"When you're on the pitch and you are playing one team who in general are better, the players feel that," he added.
"We need to be stronger. When we can feel stronger with the ball, without the ball, together the confidence and mentality is coming. Our players have mentality but when we're worse than the opposition we feel that. It's a negative on the pitch."