Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor believes Martin O'Neill's men are finally sending a shot across the bows and warning the Premier League big guns they mean business in the battle for fourth place and contention for a place in the Champions League next season.
The 21-year-old Birmingham-born striker believes Villa's creditable draw with Arsene Wenger's men will show the league Villa are no flukes and serious contenders for Europe this season.
Agbonlahor said: "I think we deserved to beat Arsenal. Before the game we would have taken a point but to lose two points with just three seconds to go was really frustrating. But that happens in football. I think we had more chances in the game than Arsenal and it is just annoying that we did not convert them.
"The one good thing is that it is the third time now that we have come to take on one of the big four teams and taken points off them. The way we have started playing lately I think people are now taking us seriously.
"Hopefully now this sends a message out to all the big guns that we are a force to be reckoned with."
Villa's 1-1 draw with Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium was their 12th unbeaten match in a row and they came within 30 seconds of destroying The Gunners' 18 match unbeaten home run in all competitions on home soil.
Villa led from the 27th minute thanks to a Philippe Senderos own-goal before substitute Niklas Bendtner hit a last gasp equaliser in the 93rd minute after fourth official Andy D'Urso had signalled three minutes of additional time.
He continued: "To be honest we probably came to Arsenal looking for a draw but we certainly didn't think we would be defeated and we realise now how close we came to victory.
"Against Arsenal I think you would take a draw and besides they had a few players missing so we did fancy ourselves a bit."
He added: "In the end I think Arsenal created very little to trouble us really which is why conceding such a late goal is so frustrating.
"The defence played brilliantly and Martin Laursen had another great game."
Agbonlahor said the whole team was devastated by the injury blow to defender Curtis Davies who was due back in the Midlands last night after an operation in a North London hospital on his ruptured achilles.
The 22-year-old looks set to miss the remainder of the season after pulling up in the first half in agony. Agbonlahor said: "I had my injury recently and was out with my hamstring and these things happen unfortunately.
"It is then a case of getting your head around recovering as quick as you can and I am sure Curtis will.
"I know he will be devastated as he would have been hoping for another England call-up next month but he is still very young and I am sure he will be back in the team and back for England as soon as he can."
Agbonlahor, who set up the own-goal inadvertently for Senderos but has not found the net since Wigan away in December, is not concerned about his own lack of fire power.
He said: "I haven't hit the net this year but it is not all about my goals. As long as I am still contributing to the team and we are still winning and getting results then I am happy.
"Obviously getting goals is in the back of my mind - I am a striker - but as long as we keep getting results that will do me. I am sure once I get off the mark then the goals will start coming and then I will have no problem.
"My priority is to help Aston Villa and then get goals to boost my own personal tally."
Agbonlahor realises he is now a marked man in the top flight as he found against Arsenal who put two men on him throughout the game. He also fell victim to Arsenal's infamous off-side trap time and again.
He said: "I thought one or two of the off-side decisions were a bit close but that happens."
Villa now have another long break before their next game after the weekend's match with Middlesbrough at Villa Park was pushed back to next Wednesday evening due to Gareth Southgate's side's FA Cup commitments.
Agbonlahor said: "When you get a good result you do want to play again straight away to keep the momentum going but the rest could help us as well.
"That was a tough game against Arsenal and one or two of the lads picked up knocks and are a bit sore. A break will help them recharge their batteries and come back fighting fit."