By Chris Harris

Wojciech Szczesny believes the gap between Manchester City and Arsenal is smaller than the Premier League table would have you believe.

David Silva's second-half strike took Roberto Mancini's side back to the top of the pile on Sunday and left Arsène Wenger's team 12 points adrift in fifth place.

Szczesny did make a number of notable saves to deny City further goals at the Etihad Stadium but his opposite number was just as busy with Joe Hart thwarting Aaron Ramsey, Gervinho and Thomas Vermaelen among others.

"I don’t think there is a big gap between the teams in terms of quality," concluded Szczesny.

"They just got the winning goal and that was the difference. But we showed on Sunday that we are just as good as the richest team and possibly, at the moment, the best team in the league so that gives us confidence we can beat everyone else.

"I thought it was a very good game of football," he added. "Both teams played well and were very positive. It looked like the first team to score was always going to win the game and unfortunately for us it happened for them.

"I am very disappointed about the result but there were lots of positives to take out of the game. We created chances and played very well so we are confident going into the Christmas period that we can get the results."

Arsenal can ill-afford another defeat if they are to get their Premier League challenge back on track but the title picture can change quickly with four games in 12 days during a busy festive period.

"At the moment, it is too big a gap [to Man City] but we hope we can make it smaller and then realistically we can talk about challenging for the title," said Szczesny.

"City will drop points. They lost against Chelsea, who are a good side that seem to have got their confidence back now. We are confident, playing well while they are on top of the league but Man United are catching up. Everyone can win it still."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
19 Dec 2011