LUCAS LEIVA admitted Liverpool had missed a glorious opportunity to kick-start their push for Champions League qualification after their thrilling 2-2 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates.
Goals from Luis Suarez and Jordan Henderson appeared to have put the Reds on course for victory in the capital, but the Gunners hit back through Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott to earn a share of the spoils.
The Brazilian midfielder believes there were plenty of positives for Brendan Rodgers' side to take as they prepare for Sunday's trip to champions Manchester City. However, Lucas insists they deserved more than a point for their performance.
“We're disappointed with the draw, especially having been 2-0 up,” he said.
“We were responding really well from the FA Cup defeat. We showed the right mentality and a good attitude.
“This was a really important game for us. Arsenal are only three points above us and this was an opportunity to go level with them.
“We know how hard it is to come here. Arsenal pass the ball well and move the ball quickly.
“Sometimes you have to do the dirty work by playing deep and defending and we did that.
“We started the game very well and built on that. We played really well on the counter-attack.
“I think we were defending really well but in the space of 10 minutes we conceded two goals and the game changed. Then we came back strongly at the end and nearly got a winner.
“It would have been a big three points for us but we just couldn't get them.”
Lucas was aggrieved by the award of the free-kick which led to Jack Wilshire creating the chance for Giroud to half the deficit.
“I don't think I touched Walcott,” he said.
“But we had a few free-kicks that the referee shouldn't have given, especially one before that with Wilshire.
“It's hard for the referee but that cost us a goal. It's just a bad feeling. Now we must move on and think about Manchester City and aim to get points there.”
Liverpool, who remain seventh and are seven points adrift of fourth placed Tottenham, still haven't registered a league win against a team in the top half of the Premier League this season.
However, Lucas says their display in the capital shows they can compete with anyone.
“We were talking about that before the game,” he added.
“We have to start winning against the top teams if we want to achieve a better position.
“Tonight was a real opportunity for us. We didn't win but we showed we are capable of fighting against and beating the top teams.
“For so long we did well but unfortunately in 10 minutes we conceded two goals. We have another opportunity to get a good result against a top team this weekend.”