Mikel Arteta insisted Arsenal proved their credentials as genuine Premier League title contenders with an impressive 3-1 win over 10-man Tottenham in Saturday’s north London derby.
Arteta’s side made it seven wins from eight league games this season as they moved four points clear at the top of the table.
The 192nd meeting between these bitter rivals from opposite ends of the Seven Sisters Road was a typically frenetic occasion from the moment Thomas Partey put Arsenal ahead early in the first half.
Harry Kane equalised with a penalty but third-placed Tottenham imploded after the interval as Hugo Lloris’s mistake allowed Gabriel Jesus to restore Arsenal’s lead. Tottenham defender Emerson Royal was sent off for an ugly foul on Gabriel Martinelli before Granit Xhaka’s goal ensured Arsenal would avenge the 3-0 defeat against their hated neighbours last season that cost them a Champions League place.
Ending Tottenham’s 13-match unbeaten run in the league was a significant statement of intent from Arsenal. Arsenal have now lost just once in 30 home league games against Tottenham, yet there was far more than local bragging rights at stake for the Gunners.
Their only previous match against a top-four rival this season ended in a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United, but this dynamic performance showed they must be taken seriously in the title race.
Next Sunday’s showdown with Liverpool will be another test for Arsenal, but while champions Manchester City remain the title favourites, Arteta’s team are emerging as a force to be reckoned with.
With Tottenham sitting too deep in a desperate bid to soak up Arsenal’s pressure, the Gunners took the lead in stunning style after 20 minutes.
Bournemouth 0 0 Brentford
Crystal Palace 1 2 Chelsea
Fulham 1 4 Newcastle
Liverpool 3 3 Brighton
Southampton 1 2 Everton