Per Mertesacker praised Arsenal for their front-foot approach to Sunday's 0-0 draw with Chelsea - but he regrets not taking his second-half chance.
The vice-captain made a swift recovery from an ankle problem to lead the Gunners out at Emirates Stadium and shot wide after a poor punch from Thibault Courtois landed to him on the edge of the box.
Mertesacker wishes he had taken longer to size up the opportunity but, overall, he was pleased with how Arsenal performed.
"When you are a defender in that position, you still need to learn how to deal with those situations"
"Performance-wise it was a good one but it wasn’t enough to get the vital three points we needed to compete for the first place," he said.
"I rushed myself. When you are a defender in that position, you still need to learn how to deal with those situations. I rushed a bit, nobody told me that I had time. It came out of a set-piece and it was more than a coincidence. Our focus was strong today.
"Last season we were worse against the top teams, especially away from home, but at home we played on the front foot like always and we deserved that point. We defended really well against a top team. We could have done better in the final third because we had a couple of counter-attacks and we maybe lacked the last pass.
"We’ll keep fighting towards the end and we want to stay near the top of the table. We’ve fought hard to get there, to be the main title contender other than Chelsea, so let’s try to stay in that position. We are on a strong run so let’s keep on that."