Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno believes his side are closing the gap on their big-six rivals, despite their defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.
The Gunners have been regressing in recent years and have failed to finish in the top four for the last four years consecutively.
Furthermore, Arsenal are yet to pick up an away win at the home of one of the top six sides in the Premier League in almost five years. And that poor run continued with yet another defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.
A first-half strike by Raheem Sterling was enough to give Pep Guardiola's side a 1-0 victory over Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium. However, Bernd Leno saw enough to be optimistic about the future.
Bernd Leno speaks on the defeat to Manchester City and hope for Arsenal in the future
Speaking about the defeat against Manchester City, Leno said:
''On one hand we’re disappointed, but on the other we played a good game,”
''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 that night when we lost 3-0 to City with how we played on Saturday there's a big, big difference.
"We are going the right way and next week we have to be confident to play like this again.
"I think we missed a little bit of the lucky punch.
''We tried set-pieces and crosses but we couldn't finish the action. That was our main problem in the end because I think we were better in the second half and controlled the game."
Mikel Arteta has impressed since being appointed in the Arsenal dugout and has addressed the soft underbelly that used to plague the Gunners.
Previously, we've seen the Gunners ship numerous goals at the Etihad Stadium. However, they largely held their own for most of the game against Pep Guardiola's side at the weekend.
They, however, look blunt in attack and have been shot-shy this season. This comes as a major surprise considering the free-flowing football that the club has been used to over the years.
Now, the next port of call for Arteta would be to end the Gunners' poor run on the road against their top rivals.
The next opportunity to end this run would come on November 1 when Arsenal travel to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.