Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini said his side should not have lost to Arsenal on Monday.
Theo Walcott and Oliver Giroud scored to put Arsenal in control in an eventual 2-1 win at City's expense.
Yaya Toure set up a tense finish in north London after lofting a ball past Petr Cech, but Arsenal could have been 5-0 up early in the second half had they not been so wasteful.
Yet Pellegrini insisted his side had enough chances that they could have claimed the three points instead.
"I think we didn't deserve to lose I think we did better than Arsenal, we had more possession, more attempts, more shots at target," he said. "Unfortunately we made an important mistake for their second goal.
"I'm very happy with the character and personality of the team because we never give up. We demonstrated character by continuing to try and score when we were losing 2-0."
Kevin De Bruyne had two clean looks at goal in the first half but Pellegrini declined to place the blame on his forward.
"I think that Kevin is an important striker, he normally finishes very well. If he scores, we are all applauding him," he said. "He took that decision, and I think more important than that was the mistake we made in the last seconds of the first half.
Arsenal pulled four points clear of third-placed City, who now trail leaders Leicester by six points entering the holiday fixtures.
"It's not a significant defeat because we have to play for many more points. But of course it was important to try to win," Pellegrini said.
"We have to play 63 points more."
Yaya Toure also said City were unfortunate to not come away with anything for their efforts.
"In the end we were a little bit unlucky, we had a couple of chances," the goal scorer said. "It was quite disappointing. We were in control of the game but Arsenal were very clever and when we lost the ball they came forward quick.
"We need to bounce back on Saturday. The games are coming quick and we need to get all the players fit and try to do the business."