Arsenal vice-captain Mikel Arteta insists that the side must be more competitive next season and need to close the gap between themselves and the Manchester clubs.

The Gunners had to give newly-crowned champions Manchester United a guard of honour before their game started at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and Arteta believes they should use that moment as motivation as they search for their first trophy since 2005.

After the guard of honour was done by Arsenal, they then produced one of their better performances of the season but could only draw 1-1 with United, however after the game Arsene Wenger praised his team and their determination.

Right from the opening whistle, Wenger's men were pressuring the United players and they were throwing themselves into tackles as well and that was pleasing for the Frenchman.

Mikel Arteta has now rallied his team-mates to take the weekend's performance as a benchmark for next season as they look to close the gap between themselves and the two top teams in the Premier League.

Arteta told reporters: “I hope we can close the gap.

“Next season we have to improve on this current gap.

“They deserved it [the guard of honour] - they won the league with four games to go so they deserved the clapping. When someone does the job you have to congratulate them. This is the respectful thing to do.

“You want to be in that situation [where you] walk on the pitch and the other teams show respect because you are the winners. Hopefully, along with our young players, we will have the chance to do it.”

For this season though, finishing in the top-four is the achievement that Arsenal must do and after seeing Chelsea win at the weekend, they have fallen down to fourth in the league and Arteta believes the most clinical teams will finish in the top-four. 

The Gunners star continued by saying: “We are in the same situation as we were beforehand. We have tough games to play and it will be very close and will go to the last game.

“Yes it will be about who is the most clinical at the right moments. When it gets to the last games the teams who are the most clinical win the games. We have seen that over the last few weeks. It will be a difficult battle for everyone.”


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