Laurent Koscielny has aimed a veiled dig at former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, with the Gunners considered to be “more intelligent” under Unai Emery.
Under a previous coaching regime, in more recent times, the north London outfit often struggled in meetings with fellow members of the so-called ‘big six’.
Those failings contributed to Arsenal missing out on top-four finishes in each of Wenger’s final two campaigns at the helm.
A much-improved record has been enjoyed in such clashes in 2018-19, with Koscielny putting that down to a different approach with a new manager at the helm.
The French defender said: “Our record against the other big six teams this season is positive.
“We have won 12 points compared to six last season.
“It shows how we are approaching those games differently.
“It is not just about attacking. We are more intelligent, we are more measured in our plans.
“We can change tactics halfway through a game, we can set up differently.
“The manager is using different formations and it shows his flexibility and the players’ too which is a good thing.”