Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Premier League leaders Manchester City are the best team in Europe.
City took their lead to 10 points with a midweek win over Everton, face Spurs in the Carabao Cup final and remain in FA Cup and Champions League contention.
Arteta’s team host City on Sunday and the Spaniard described the task as a “big but very exciting challenge”.
“The football they are playing and consistency of results, take all that in and it makes them the best team.”
City have lost only twice in their opening 24 matches during the current campaign – to Leicester in September and Tottenham in November.
Pep Guardiola’s team have conceded only 15 goals and Arteta said: “They have weaknesses like every team but at the moment teams have struggled a lot to find any of that because I think first of all defensively they have been really, really strong.
“I think they are the best team in Europe at the moment.”
Arsenal are currently 10th, 12 points behind third-placed Leicester, their opponents on 28 February.
The Gunners also have the prospect of a home match with rivals Tottenham, who are currently two points above them with a game in hand, on 13 March.
“It could define our season if we are unable to close the gaps to them but it can create momentum for us if we can get closer to them,” Arteta said.”We know the margin for error is minimal with the season that we have had so we need to kick on.”