Manchester City are not worried about the Premier League title race despite losing ground on Arsenal, so says Manuel Akanji.
Pep Guardiola's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, after Erling Haaland's finish was cancelled out by Demarai Gray's superb strike.
With Mikel Arteta's Arsenal claiming a victory against Brighton and Hove Albion it means the gap is now seven points to the summit for reigning champions City.
Akanji, though, is not concerned, with City having not yet faced their title rivals.
"It's the midway point of the season," he told City's official website. "Of course, Arsenal are in first but in the end, there are lots of games to play.
"We have to play them twice. We'll keep the pressure up and try to win our next game and keep on going. There's still a long way to go."
21 - Despite this year’s World Cup break, Erling Haaland’s 21 goals are the most scored by a player before the turn of the year in a single Premier League season. Pontoon. pic.twitter.com/yhGygfpnE7— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 31, 2022
Not for the first time, City saw their firepower neutralised by cracks in their defensive line, with Gray's goal the only shot on target Everton mustered.
That their domination on the ball was undone by a lapse at the back is not lost on Akanji, who believes they must bank clean sheets to stay in the mix.
"We had enough chances, and we've got to keep the clean sheet in a game like this," he added. "We can't give the opponent the opportunity to score.
"It's something we have to [do] better in the next game. One point is not enough out of these 90 minutes.
"We tried to dominate the game. I think we did it pretty well and had enough opportunities to score a goal. In the end, we have to manage to keep the clean sheet.
"There's going to be some tough games where the opponent is defending well, and we've got to do a better job. We have to be more focused
"If we can do that, we might be better the next time. It's something we have to improve."