Mikel Arteta said standards have to improve at Arsenal after the Gunners were outclassed in a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday to realistically end their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League.
By contrast, Liverpool surged back into contention for a place in next season’s Champions League with one of their best performances of the season at the Emirates.
Diogo Jota came off the bench to score twice either side of Mohamed Salah’s 26th goal of the season as Jurgen Klopp’s men closed to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea.
The manner of the victory will be just as pleasing as the scoreline for Klopp as Liverpool looked far more like their old selves ahead of a trip to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday.
Arsenal are also in European action on Thursday in the last eight of the Europa League against Slavia Prague.
And winning that competition is their best chance of ending a four-year absence from the Champions League as Arteta’s men remain in ninth, nine points adrift of the top four.
“Congratulations to Liverpool because they were exceptional today,” said Arteta.
“They can play at that level and we saw the difference today between the two teams when we play at that level. The margin is incredibly high.
“The standard has to be much higher for this football club.”
The Spaniard assumed responsibility for defeat, but called on his players to respond quickly to save their season in midweek.