Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has heaped the praise on his side following their 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Sunday.

Both sides struggled to create any true clear-cut openings in the match, much to the relief of Liverpool. The stakes were already high heading into the match, but the pressure intensified even further ahead of the clash between the two title-challenging sides when Liverpool came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Brighton in the early kick off on Sunday.

However, neither side were able to peg Jurgen Klopp’s side back at the Etihad Stadium. In a chess-like encounter, both Arsenal and City were reluctant to leave themselves vulnerable by taking risks in possessions – leading to an underwhelming encounter for neutrals.

Arteta was impressed by the performance though, stressing how it was important for his side to be physical and ‘aggressive’ against Pep Guardiola’s side. He told Match of the Day: “A really competitive match as you can imagine. We made another big step today. They have the capacity to change formations to get you in deep in many moments. They are very physical but I think we coped with that very well.

“I think we had the best situations. We were really aggressive at times and getting the ball into great areas. The way we competed individually and as a team was phenomenal. Individually you have to be at your best.

“I think it is 2021 since they hadn’t scored a goal here at the Etihad. It was a really tough test for us today. We wanted to win but when you cannot win you must not lose.”

Arteta was also keen to reiterate that he wasn’t particularly pleased that his side did not walk away from the match with all six points, telling Sky Sports: “No way can you be fully happy [with just a point]. Listen, I think we have made a big step today.

“We had the experience of playing here last season and we have come across in a different way today. We played the game in an exceptional way, and in other parts of the game we could have done much better, especially with the ball in the final third.”

The draw means that the Gunners drop to second place in the Premier League, and they will be hoping to return to winning ways when relegation-battling Luton Town travel to the Emirates Stadium in midweek. City remained in third following the draw, and they face the high-flying Aston Villa on Wednesday night.