Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted they have a “fighting chance” to compete for a Premier League top-four spot despite their 2-0 away loss to Arsenal at Emirates on Saturday.
Rodgers refused to criticise his players after a below-standard performance against the Gunners, who put five points between the teams at the top of the table.
Liverpool were overrun in midfield with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil winning the battle against Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva and Jordan Henderson.
The Northern Irishman admitted that Liverpool are already playing catch-up to Arsene Wenger's league leaders.
"They are winning the race," Rodgers said.
"These 10 games we've all played, people talk about it being early, but you don't get them back.
"You don't get to play them again so you've got to claim the points.
"At the moment we're on 20 points and they're on 25.
"The great thing is there's lots of time left to gain those points back, but at this moment in time they are high in confidence, playing well and they will be pleased with the win.
"There's always disappointment when you lose a big game. We were happy when we beat Manchester United earlier in the season.
"After 10 games there's always a good assessment of where you can go.
"Look at Chelsea's squad, at Arsenal's squad even with the players who are out, and look at Manchester City's.
"So for us to be where we are, that's where we want to be, we've shown that we're going to have a fighting chance."
Rodgers admitted it will time to build up a side as strong as their rivals at the top of the Premier League but underlined his delight with Liverpool's start to the season, which has resulted in a third place level on points with Chelsea and Tottenham.
"We want to stay there. We know we're trying to build something here in the depth of our squad, and the nature of our game," he said.
"Without a major investment that just takes a bit of time.
"But listen, they're a team here, I watched them (Arsenal) against Napoli and they were brilliant, and that's top-end Champions League.
"They are a very good side with very good players, and for us we're playing catch-up.
"I think we've had a terrific start, but when you lose a game there will always be an analysis that will maybe be negative.
"I can only be positive with what I've got, because they've given me everything."
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