The Gunners lead Chelsea and Manchester City by two points at the Premier League summit after the Blues defeated Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Monday evening
Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo insists Arsenal should be considered favourites to win a closely contested Premier League title race.
Following Chelsea’s victory over City on Monday evening, Jose Mourinho insisted that unlike Manuel Pellegrini’s men, his young side should not be considered among the front-runners this season.
Arsenal remain two points clear of both at the top of the table, and Negredo believes the Gunners are the team City will have to beat to reclaim the trophy they won in 2012.
“He’s throwing balls out,” Negredo said of Mourinho. “A week ago he said we were’t favourites and now he says we are. The favourite right now is Arsenal and we still have to play against them.
“We must do our best until the end of the season and then we will see who is the best.”
On the Chelsea defeat he added: “I think it was not our best game, but it is best to forget it as soon as possible. [Chelsea] were good, more effective and in the end that’s what is most important.
“[My shoulder] was not 100 per cent. I tried to give my best, but now I have to recover and pick up the pace. We have to work and forget this game.”
Team-mate Jesus Navas insisted City played well in defeat to Chelsea and controlled much of the game.
He said: “They made the goal. I think we were running the game but there were a couple of actions in which we were a bit undecided.
“We tried but we have to keep working. There is still a lot of the season ahead and many tough opponents still to face.”
Negredo also believes City should be viewed as underdogs heading into their two-legged Champions League battle with Barcelona despite their prolific scoring form this season.
“Looking at the history, for the numbers of titles they have, Barcelona is the favourite,” he insisted.
“It is true that now they are not as good as in previous years but Barca are always Barca and you have to be very careful with them. We must have the courage to face them.
“We have a good squad, quality and anything can happen if we do things right.”