Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, has hailed Arsenal as the best team in the Premier League.
The champions are behind the Gunners with only one point.
The signing of Erling Haaland appears to be the final piece in a juggernaut that now looks equipped to maintain its domestic dominance, as well as finally end the wait for a maiden Champions League triumph.
Despite laying waste to pretty much everything they have come into contact with this term, City head into the weekend a point behind early pacesetters Arsenal, who entertain Liverpool on Sunday in what will represent another acid test of their own credentials.
Guardiola has long championed the potential of his former protégé Mikel Arteta who was under severe pressure just over 12 months ago after Arsenal were destroyed 5-0 by City.
Asked how much progress City had made this season, Guardiola took the opportunity to point out that although he was more than satisfied with the performance of his own team, there remains one side looking down on the rest.
He said: “In general we played really good football in all these years.
“The way we are playing is normal. In six, seven years, every year we are a little bit better in some terms.
“But it is just how many fixtures? Just eight or nine games of the Premier League season. In the Champions League we are in a dream position, we have one game left to qualify. To finish first is important and in the Premier League it is about being there.
“We cannot forget one thing ladies and gentlemen. There is one team that has been better than us this season, this is the reality.
“The reality is that Arsenal have been better than us so far. We are not top of the league. It is important to be there and try to fight to arrive there.”