Aaron Ramsey has challenged Arsenal to replicate their record against teams outside the top four when they face the Premier League big guns this season.
The Wales midfielder scored the winning goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday and believes that the Gunners can sustain a challenge for the title if they match their direct rivals and also improve away from home.
“You saw last season that we picked up a number of points against the teams outside the top four,” Ramsey said.
“Our main target this year is to improve our away form against the bigger teams.
“If we did pick up a few points away from home against the top four teams last season then I think we may have been champions, but that wasn’t to be. That’s our biggest thing to improve on – to pick up points away from home.
“The last few seasons we’ve struggled in the first game of the season and we nearly did again today, but it was important to keep on trying even though it wasn’t quite happening for the team today. It wasn’t as fluid as it normally is but we came away with the win and that’s important.
“I didn’t have the best of games today but I kept wanting to try and get into the box and finally it broke to me. I’m trying to improve on last season and I’m counting the Community Shield goal, so I’ve got two so far.”
While Ramsey may not have rated his own performance on Saturday, he was impressed with Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy on their home debuts.
“I think they have started really well,” the Welshman said.
“We were really solid at the back with Debuchy and Chambers, who were playing as if they’d been there for the last three years.
“Alexis showed glimpses of his quality and he’s very quick on the turn but he’s part of the team and the team struggled to get going today, so we’ll be looking to improve that on Tuesday.”