Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has set his sights on beating Manchester City in 10 days' time as the race for Champions League places heats up.
Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal - where the Reds have not won for a decade - along with a similar reverse for Tottenham at Wolves and Aston Villa's goalless draw with Manchester United handed the initiative to City. They are level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool but have two matches in hand and the fixture list pitches the two together at Eastlands a week on Sunday.
"There is nothing we can do about this result (against Arsenal) now," said Gerrard. "The lads will reflect on it and we have a very big game coming up against Manchester City. But if we play like we did at Arsenal, then I fancy us to beat them."
He added: "I feel if we are on our game and playing well, we are a match for anyone."
The loss at the Emirates Stadium was Liverpool's eighth of the season - two more than last year when they ran champions Manchester United a close second - is one of the most damaging statistics for Liverpool.
Seven of those came in the first four months of the campaign. By contrast, Manchester City have lost four and none so far at Eastlands.
The Liverpool captain knows their early form has cost them dearly but held up their seven-match unbeaten league run which came to an end against Arsene Wenger's side as a yardstick for the remainder of the season.
"We are where we are in the table because we were very inconsistent earlier in the season," said Gerrard.
"But look at Liverpool's performances over the last six or seven games - if we show that consistency, then we will challenge for the league."