Declan Rice has urged his Arsenal team-mates to “live with this feeling” of title disappointment and use it as fuel to be even better next season.

The Gunners missed out on a first Premier League crown in 20 years after final-day leaders Manchester City were able to complete the job with a 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday.

Arsenal eventually got past Everton thanks to an 89th-minute goal from Kai Havertz, which secured a 2-1 victory after Idrissa Gueye’s first-half opener at the Emirates was cancelled out by Takehiro Tomiyasu, but it was not enough.

Mikel Arteta’s men had been close to perfect in the league in 2024 with 16 wins from their 18 fixtures and yet City were able to pip them to the title by two points after they won their game in hand at Tottenham on Tuesday before they backed it up with victory against West Ham.

Rice, after an excellent debut campaign at Arsenal, reflected: “The last few weeks have been so whirlwind in terms of the emotions, the feelings we’ve had, watching other games, playing our games.

“It’s not something I want to experience again, but it’s an experience I’m so grateful to have had being in my first title race. It’s been so special.

“To not win it is gutting, but we can’t rely on other teams to help us out. We have to look back on ourselves and games where we dropped points. That is ultimately where we’ve lost the league, but we’ll be back.

“We’re really confident as a group and you see the manager has full control of everything. I’m sure we’ll be stronger in the summer.”

Arsenal had pushed City close in the 2022-23 campaign but endured a poor finish and lost the title by five points.

The summer signings of Rice for £100million and Havertz from Chelsea have pushed the Gunners up a level after they were able to record more points (89), more wins (28), score more goals (91) and concede fewer goals (29) in the Premier League this season, while they also took the title race to the wire.

It highlights the progression made under the stewardship of Arteta, but there will be no let-up this summer with the Arsenal boss quick to demand even more while captain Martin Odegaard insisted they would be back stronger.

“There were a few of us walking around at the end there and we said that feeling we have now in our stomach, of losing out on a title and seeing them lift it again, starting from (Monday) and going through the summer, we need to have that feeling of what today feels like,” Rice told NBC Sports.

“They (City) are four in a row so now if you want to win the Premier League and be hungry, you need to live with this feeling and we don’t want to feel this again.

“We see our fans, how everything was set up, we wanted to enjoy this moment with them, but look, we’ll go again.

“We are really confident as a group and I’m sure we will be stronger. That is the challenge of the Premier League. It’s getting stronger, it’s getting better and I feel like we will be better for it.”

Everton were able to finish 15th despite the late loss in London, which was an impressive turnaround given the club were embroiled in a relegation battle for much of the season after two separate points deductions.

Sean Dyche paid tribute to the supporters, saying: “Keep doing what you’re doing. They’ve been excellent. In the darkest hours this season, they’ve been there for us.

“I think there are a lot of challenges still to come.

“But there are a lot of good signs out there. You can see it, some of the young players the way they’re maturing. So there is a lot of good signs even though it is a challenging period for Everton Football Club.”