Arsene Wenger conceded his Arsenal side are now out of the title race after defeat by Manchester City.
The 1-0 loss leaves the Gunners 12 points behind the leaders in fifth place in the Premier League.
Wenger had hoped to use the game to close the gap at the top and look to overhaul the sides above Arsenal in the second half of the season.
But he was quoted as saying by his club's official website: "Unfortunately for us it was a game that we couldn't afford to lose because it puts us too much [behind City].
"If we had won the game we would have come back to six points and with players coming back like our full-backs and [Jack] Wilshere and [Abou] Diaby - we will have a better squad in the second half of the season.
"At the moment we are too far behind.
"I think it was a game that could have gone both ways. It was very intense with both teams going for it and I feel as well that we were a bit unlucky.
"Their goalkeeper had a good game and we were a bit unlucky with the fact that we had to reshuffle completely at the back in a position where we are already short - we paid too much for that.
"Overall I did feel at half-time that we would win the game if we stayed stable at the back.
"We lacked a bit of accuracy with our final ball in the final third as well because we had a few opportunities where we didn't pass the ball well.
"But overall we had a very positive performance, great spirit, quality, but we lacked a little bit of what is vital in the big games."