has backed to challenge for the title again this season despite their failure to beat his Fulham side on Saturday.
The Gunners looked to have completed an impressive comeback with two goals in three minutes from and Eddie Nketiah, cancelling out Andreas Pereira’s bizarre early opener.
Joao Palhinha, however, provided a late sting in the tail, sweeping home from 12 yards having been left virtually unmarked at a corner.
Arsenal nearly forced a winner during nine minutes of injury time but ultimately had to settle for a point which saw them surrender their 100% start to the season.
With Manchester United and Tottenham on the horizon, as well as a trip to bogey ground Goodison Park, Arsenal can ill-afford too many more slips at this stage of the campaign if they are to go one better than last season.
Silva, however, is confident Mikel Arteta’s side is well equipped to prove a genuine rival to Manchester City’s continued dominance of English football.
Speaking at his post match press conference, the Fulham manager said: ‘We have great respect for Arsenal. In my opinion they are going to be even stronger than last season.
‘The quality they add for their squad is impressive and I have to say they are going to be contenders again because the quality they have and the manager they have and all of that stuff.’
Arteta, meanwhile, was left to rue a late defensive lapse that soured the mood inside the Emirates Stadium.
He said: ‘Well, obviously within the first minute you made the mistake that we made and you just give a goal to the opponent, the game becomes much more difficult.
‘The reaction straight after that even in the first half with the amount of situations and chances we created, we didn’t give anything away, we controlled the game for full periods but we didn’t score the goal and in the second half we made some changes.
‘The dynamic changed and we had better relationships, I think the subs made a huge difference and great impact and I loved their determination and the confidence that they brought to the team. We went 2-1 up and then you have to defend the box with your life and you cannot concede that goal after that we’ve done because we should have scored five, six, seven, I don’t know.’
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