Manchester City full-back Bacary Sagna said Monday's defeat against fellow Premier League title contenders Arsenal is hard to take.
City were undone by two first-half goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, with Yaya Toure's late strike proving just a consolation in their 2-1 loss at the Emirates.
The loss means City are now four points behind second-place Arsenal in the table, and six behind surprise leaders Leicester City.
Sagna rued the loss against his former club but knows there is still a long way to go in the season.
"It's hard to take, I think we started the game really well, we had possession of the ball, and on their first shot they scored," the Frenchman said.
"So it was a bit against the game but we had to keep going to defend well as a team and we conceded before half time.
"So it makes it difficult against a quality team. Now we have to keep our heads up because they are creating a gap.
"It was vital to score because I know this team quite well. I think we played quite well in general, of course we conceded some chances, but apart from that we could have scored before they did.
"It's not a blow personally, I want to keep working hard, I want to fight to the end because we have many games
to catch up, of course we have a gap now but as I said the league is going to be very long.
"We have to play them at home, we have to play Leicester so we have to keep the head up keep working and keep sticking together.
"We have to keep the head up, keep working hard and bounce back in the next game.
City will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Sunderland on Boxing Day.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.