Aaron Ramsey: Arsenal 'definitely' missed opportunity to win title

Aaron Ramsey says Arsenal "definitely" missed an opportunity to win the Premier League, though he expected their challenges this season will serve the Gunners well moving forward.

While all of their usual title rivals had disappointing seasons, Arsene Wenger's men still finished behind surprise winners Leicester City.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, Ramsey gave credit to the Foxes but still said their title stung a bit.

Asked if he felt seeing Leicester win the title felt like a chance missed for Arsenal, the midfielder said: "It definitely does.

"Obviously Leicester have surprised many people. Everybody had written them off and said they would drop points at certain times but they never did and full credit to them. They went on to win the league.

"It definitely does feel like an opportunity missed, but I'm quite confident that this will make us stronger for next season."

Although Arsenal stayed in the race for most of the season, their title hopes were hit in April following draws against Crystal Palace and Sunderland.

In November, Arsenal followed up a loss at West Brom with a draw at Norwich, and Ramsey said an inability to beat the "lower teams" cost the Gunners the title.

"I just think we need to take every game as if it is our last, and a couple of occasions we slipped up against the so-called lower teams," he said.

"We missed opportunities there, which you can't afford to do when somebody, like Leicester did this season, they set the pace and kept up their winning run. You just can't afford to drop points in the manner that we did at times."

If missing out on an open title race wasn't bad enough, Arsenal still face the indignity of finishing behind North London rivals Tottenham.

With one game remaining against bottom-side Aston Villa on Sunday, Arsenal trail Spurs by two points in the race for second place.

Ramsey said he still hopes Arsenal can finish second above Tottenham.

"Obviously it's not nice seeing them above us but I have to say they've done well this season as well," he said. "But it's not over yet, we have one game left and hopefully Newcastle can do us a favour there and we finish the job off at home.

"It's in their hands but hopefully we'll have a bit of luck."

While second place would be nice for bragging rights, it's also crucial that Arsenal get a result against Villa so they finish third and qualify directly for the Champions League group stage, rather than another year in the playoff round.

"It does definitely mean an awful lot to the players. We want to finish on a high," Ramsey said of the season's final game. "We want to make sure we at least finish third if not better. So we're going to take it as if it were the first game of the season."