Mikel Arteta said Arsenal would "focus on ourselves" ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, when asked how his team planned to handle Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Striker Aubameyang spent four years at Emirates Stadium, before his time at the club ended with him being shuffled off to Barcelona in February.

Having propelled Arsenal to FA Cup success in Arteta's first half-season at the helm in 2020, club captain Aubameyang was rewarded with a new contract. Yet the following campaign brought just 14 goals and, by December last year, Aubameyang was out of the picture having fallen out with, and out of the favour of, Arsenal's manager.

After his short-lived, but successful, spell at Barcelona, Aubameyang is back in the Premier League with Chelsea, and the focus ahead of Sunday's London derby was on how he would match up against his old club.

Sixty-four minutes, eight touches, five completed passes and just one shot, which was blocked, later, we had our answer – Aubameyang subbed off by Graham Potter, a minute after Arsenal had taken the lead thanks to Gabriel Magalhaes' goal, with the Gunners holding out to return to the Premier League's summit.

Auba's dismal reunion embodies toothless Chelsea display

Arsenal have found Stamford Bridge a happy hunting ground in recent seasons. They are unbeaten at Chelsea in the top flight since December 2018, and have won on their last three league trips to the home of their London rivals.

They triumphed 4-2 in the corresponding match last term, which was the last time Chelsea had lost on home turf, but the Blues were by far second-best on Sunday.

Chelsea, beaten 4-1 by Potter's former side Brighton and Hove Albion last week, managed just five attempts at goal, their fewest in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge since September last year, in a loss to Manchester City.

Aubameyang scored 68 goals in 128 Premier League games for Arsenal, including one against the Blues in December 2019, but he never threatened to become just the second player to score for both sides in this fixture in the Premier League (excluding own goals), after Cesc Fabregas.

His performance summed up Chelsea's blunt attack, with Mason Mount managing only one attempt and creating just one chance, while Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling also struggled.

Arsenal, in contrast, had 14 shots, and while only two hit the target, they did what title contenders do and ground out a big result.

Jesus setting the tone

Gabriel Jesus was brought in to fill the void left by Aubameyang, and where Chelsea's 33-year-old centre forward floundered, the Brazil international excelled at the other end.

Jesus might not have scored in the league since the start of October, yet the 25-year-old's influence cannot be ignored.

He had three shots, as many as Chelsea's starting front four combined, and 62 touches. Only defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva (71 and 69) had more on Chelsea's team.

Jesus' 26 duels led the match, with no player competing for more aerials (six). A combative display saw the Arsenal number nine concede a joint-game-high three fouls, but he also won four, more than any other player on the pitch, while only Bukayo Saka (three) created more chances than the ex-Manchester City striker.

Arsenal, the real deal after all?

Chelsea did not lose back-to-back Premier League games at all under Potter's predecessor Thomas Tuchel, but the Blues are now without a win in four top-flight matches.

While Chelsea are undoubtedly struggling to click into gear, take nothing away from Arsenal. This team are purring, and Blues owner Todd Boehly should look to the Gunners' example of sticking with a young coach, with a defined project, as to just what can happen with sustained support.

City's late winner against Fulham on Saturday could have dealt Arsenal's confidence a blow, but instead they made another statement of intent.

"From the start until the end, we deserved to win, we were the much, much better team," Granit Xhaka rightly said in his post-match interview with BT Sport.

"We are so happy, we are doing everything the coach is telling us. These are the results."

Arsenal have won three consecutive Premier League games against fellow 'big six' opposition for the first time since February-April 2012, while the Gunners – on 34 points from their 13 matches – are the first side to win 10 top-flight away games at Chelsea.

They remain the only side to have scored in every top-flight match this term, while no teams have kept more clean sheets than the Gunners (six).

There's one potential complication for Arsenal, of course. The World Cup break is looming, and who knows if this momentum will be here by the time the league resumes in late December.

For now, though, their fans, players and previously much-maligned manager – who marked his 150th game in charge in style – can bask in deserved adulation.

Mikel Arteta saluted his "phenomenal" Arsenal side after they returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 derby win at Chelsea.

Gabriel Magalhaes capitalised on poor Blues defending to score the only goal of the game in the second half, tapping in a Bukayo Saka corner that evaded everyone and gifted the defender a chance he could not miss.

Chelsea did not pose a threat as their 12-match unbeaten home run came to an end, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starved of service in his first match against his former club before he was hauled off in the second half.

Arsenal comfortably saw out a third consecutive win at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1974, moving two points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

Gunners head coach Arteta expects another outstanding display to give his players even more belief that they can last the pace in the title race.

He told BT Sport: "We wanted to get back to the top, but the competition is so difficult in this league. The challenge for us was to come to this stage and play against a top team to perform and win the game and the boys did that."

Asked what impressed him the most, the Spaniard replied: "I think for such a young team the maturity they showed, the composure, the resilience and the courage to play the way we wanted to play it was phenomenal. It's easy to say it before the game but to do it against these opponents it's a different story.

"Winning against these opponents in this stadium I think is another step for these players to keep believing that they can do it under pressure against big opponents and we have to enjoy it."

Gabriel Jesus headed wide from close range when he was presented with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the first half and is now without a goal in nine games.

But Arteta felt the Brazil striker gave another demonstration of how to lead from the front.

He said: "The energy that he transmits to the team is just phenomenal, that to me is his biggest quality. His all-round play I think it was phenomenal how he competes, how he holds the ball, the movement, the anxiety and uncertainty he gives opponents.

"It is something that has taken us to a different level, we've said that from the beginning. He's done it again and while he didn't score, I thought he was outstanding."

Even the most ardent Arsenal supporter would struggle to convince you they could have envisaged their team making such a brilliant start to the season.

The idea of the Gunners being title challengers in the context of a disappointing end to the previous campaign, in which they were pipped for fourth by fierce rivals Tottenham having looked certainties for Champions League qualification, was pretty fanciful – even accounting for the shrewd signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from rivals Manchester City.

And yet, here we are – just two Premier League games to play before the top flight signs off for the World Cup break and Arsenal lead the way by two points from City having lost only once in 12 league outings.

Lovers of caveats will of course point out the blindingly obvious…we're still only in November. And indeed Arsenal do have questions to answer. Is their squad deep enough to take City all the way? Are they strong enough defensively to remain contenders?

But their success so far has been built on two longer term squad members, namely in the form of local favourite Bukayo Saka and the Brazilian flair of Gabriel Martinelli and they perhaps hold the key to sustaining their present position.

Their roles in this Arsenal team have been increasingly important with Arteta having to shuffle his pack following the exits of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in January and June respectively.

The addition of Jesus has added significant star quality of course, but there is little doubt Saka and Martinelli have stepped up a gear so far this term.

Martinelli making his mark

In the North Bank at Emirates Stadium in August, Arsenal fans' chants were predominantly directed towards Hale End graduates Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

But Smith Rowe's rise to first-team star has been tempered a little this term due to injuries, and Martinelli has grasped his opportunity at consistent playing time.

While the Brazilian made 29 Premier League appearances last season, he only completed 90 minutes on nine occasions and was subbed off in 11 of his 21 starts and received a red card against Wolves in February.

This season, Martinelli has started all 12 of Arsenal's league matches and has played the entirety of the game on eight occasions.

That has resulted in a significant improvement in front of goal, with Martinelli netting five times in 12 matches and sitting just one shy of the six-goal tally he achieved last term, adding two assists to boot.

Martinelli's involvement is up there with the best in the Premier League, standing eighth overall for the most involvements in attacking sequences (67) and ranking second in that regard for Arsenal, behind only Jesus (90).

Saka coming of age

On the opposing side, Arsenal continue to deploy Saka to expert effect, with the England international now in his fourth year as a regular fixture within the Gunners' ranks and showing real maturity at the age of 21.

While appearances have been plentiful, it has taken time for Saka to be integrated fully into his natural role after first making a breakthrough filling in at left-back, then featuring on the left-side of the attack.

Now in his favoured role on the right, Saka has shown his consistency with nine goal involvements in 12 matches (four goals, five assists). Only once in the past nine matches has Saka not registered a goal or an assist in the Premier League.

Managing Saka will be Arteta's biggest challenge given the amount of football he has played in the past four years and it is something that is clearly being considered, with Saka subbed off in seven of his 12 appearances this term.

Eyes will be cast towards the World Cup and Saka's important role for Gareth Southgate's side, which Arsenal fans may not find comfortable to watch given the injury risk to their star man – something that highlights the Gunners' need for depth beyond their first XI.

More to come

Settling into the side alongside Jesus, Arsenal's fluid front-three is one that is attracting envy across the Premier League and, worryingly for their opponents, the Gunners trio are still not at the peak of their powers.

For all their brilliance, neither Saka or Martinelli have quite managed to craft a deadly relationship with Jesus just yet – with Saka and Jesus yet to combine for an assist this season, while Jesus has laid on one for Martinelli.

In comparison, Martinelli has assisted Saka once, with two assists in the opposing direction. Last season, the pair did not combine for an assist.

The chances have been there, with Martinelli and Jesus combining for nine opportunities, while Saka and the Brazilian have combined for five. Improving those numbers will increase the chances of the assist tally also trending upwards.

The performances of Martin Odegaard, Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have had a major influence on the attack, but if Saka and Martinelli can continue to improve their own output then Arsenal can continue to provide the role of unlikely challengers and, who knows, perhaps even end a wait for title glory that stretches back to 2004.

Mikel Arteta insists he is "extremely happy and proud" to lead Arsenal despite reports linking him with Barcelona as he praised Xavi's "phenomenal" work at Camp Nou.

Arsenal have won 10 of their 12 Premier League games this season to lead Manchester City by two points at the summit, and they will top their Europa League group if they beat Zurich on Thursday. 

The Gunners' excellent form has seen Arteta linked with a move to Barcelona, where Xavi is facing mounting pressure after failing to lead the Blaugrana to the Champions League's last 16.

However, Arteta remains fully focused on his current role, saying: "What I can say is I am extremely proud and happy to be where I am now. I think Barcelona are on a really good path now.

"I think they have a phenomenal coach, a coach who has been an absolute legend at that club and has lifted the whole place, and you have to be very respectful of that."

Despite Arsenal's strong results, some onlookers have expressed worries about the form of Gabriel Jesus, who has not scored since a 3-1 derby win over Tottenham at the start of last month.

However, Jesus claimed two assists in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest, as well as playing a key role in the first of Reiss Nelson's two goals, and Arteta sees no cause for concern.

"If he makes three assists in a game, I don't think he has to make many adjustments," Arteta said. "I will be really happy if he is able to do that every game."

Mikel Arteta acknowledged Gabriel Jesus would be "disappointed" with a profligate showing as Arsenal were held at Southampton on Sunday.

The Gunners were in the ascendancy at St Mary's as Granit Xhaka opened the scoring in the 11th minute, finding the net in consecutive games for just the second time in his Arsenal career.

Jesus twice could have extended Arsenal's lead in the first half, blasting narrowly wide before being denied by Gavin Bazunu when through one-on-one.

The Brazil forward was also thwarted by a last-ditch Mohamed Elyounoussi block after the interval; the Saints midfielder teed up Stuart Armstrong shortly after as the home side battled to a 1-1 draw.

Arsenal manager Arteta suggested Jesus, who attempted a game-high four shots without beating Bazunu, would be the first to vent his frustrations after misfiring in front of goal.

"I'm sure today he will be disappointed knowing Gabi," Arteta said. "He's having the chances, and he's always there. It's a shame he couldn't put them away."

Arsenal moved two points clear of Manchester City at the Premier League summit, although that lead could have been four points if not for an underwhelming second-half performance.

The Gunners ended a 27-game run of matches without a draw in the Premier League, with Arteta recognising his side slipped below their high standards after a strong opening 45 minutes.

"I think the team looked really fresh at the start," the Spaniard added. "I put it more down to the way we played. We should have played better in the second half."

Gabriel Jesus is a doubt for Arsenal's trip to Leeds United on Sunday, while Mikel Arteta only foresees his side's fixture pile-up getting worse after the World Cup.

Inspired new signing Jesus had played in all 11 of Arsenal's matches this season before missing the midweek win over Bodo/Glimt due to a knock sustained in last Sunday's victory over Liverpool.

But a rare break on Thursday while his team-mates were in Europa League action was not necessarily enough to see Jesus return at Leeds.

Arteta looked ahead to the Leeds match after full-time in Norway, at which point he was still unsure of his striker's status for the game at Elland Road.

"I don't know," Arsenal manager Arteta said of Jesus. "Obviously he has some discomfort after the game against Liverpool, and that's why we decided not to bring him in [to Norway].

"So, let's see how he is."

After Leeds, Arsenal host PSV in a match that was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last month.

That will be the third of five consecutive Thursdays on which Arsenal have Europa League commitments, with each game followed by a Premier League fixture on the Sunday.

But that gruelling schedule is unlikely to ease any time soon, with the Gunners beginning their involvement in the EFL Cup and FA Cup either side of the World Cup, as well as having two more postponed games to play in the Premier League.

Were Arsenal to finish second in their Europa League group, they would have even more fixtures to squeeze in due to a play-off round.

"I think [the fixture congestion] is already here," Arteta said, "but I think after the World Cup, it is going to be even worse, so I think it is good preparation for what is coming."

The mood at Arsenal remains positive, though, as Arteta's side lead the Premier League and could stretch their advantage to four points ahead of Manchester City visiting Liverpool later on Sunday.

That prospect was put to the Gunners boss, but his focus was only on Leeds.

"The trick is how are we going to prepare for Leeds, mentally and physically," he said. "It's going to be a battle.

"We know the way they play and how intense it is going to be and the crowd that they have, so it's going to be a challenge. We have to be at our best again to win there."

Gabriel Jesus will miss Arsenal's Europa League clash at Bodo/Glimt, with manager Mikel Arteta calling for referees to do more to protect his players.

Since arriving from Manchester City in July, Jesus has scored five goals in 11 matches in all competitions to help Arsenal to a strong start, one that sees them sit top of the Premier League and their Europa League group.

However, the Brazil forward is not part of Arsenal's travelling party to Norway, with Arteta explaining Jesus is being given extra time off after a physically demanding spell.

"We thought with everything he [Jesus] has been through in the last few weeks, we thought it was better that he was staying there," Arteta told reporters.

"Obviously, Gabi is a player that gets involved in a lot of physical contact. It is the way he plays, that is in his nature. It is up to the referees to protect the players.

"I'm really happy with how our players are performing and that's the most important thing. Then it's up to the referees to protect them."

Arteta was also hesitant to comment when questioned over the confrontation between Arsenal and Liverpool players during the Gunners' 3-2 Premier League victory at the weekend, responding: "It's something I don't want to touch. It's in the FA's hands and I'm not going to get involved in that.

"The FA is in charge of the situation, and we'll have to wait and see."

When asked on whether he supported his players' versions of events, Arteta replied: "100 per cent."

Gabriel Jesus is setting the standard that is driving Arsenal's early-season charge at the top of the Premier League, and he came up trumps in his first north London derby.

Arsenal's win over Tottenham came in Saturday's early game and was followed by plenty of drama later, as Liverpool were held by Brighton and Hove Albion in a rip-roaring match at Anfield featuring a Leandro Trossard hat-trick.

Newcastle United earned a second win of the season, brushing off Fulham at Craven Cottage, while Graham Potter's Chelsea had substitute Conor Gallagher to thank for their late winner at Crystal Palace.

With goals and drama in abundance, here Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the data.

Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham: Ton up for Kane, but it's Partey time for Arsenal after derby win

Harry Kane became the first Premier League player to reach 100 away goals in the competition, but that was scant consolation for Tottenham after this derby defeat.

Arsenal were able to celebrate a third successive home league win over Spurs – the first time that has happened since 2013 – and they are unbeaten at home in this fixture for 12 games now (W8 D4).

It was a win to savour for Arsenal, with Thomas Partey's opening goal rounding off a 21-pass move, going down as the Gunner's sixth goal since December 26, 2019 to have come from a sequence of 20 or more passes. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have had more in that time. 

Jesus restored the Gunners' lead after Kane's penalty brought Spurs level, with Arsenal's close-season signing from City having managed five goals and three assists already in the Premier League. Only Erling Haaland (12) has had more goal involvements in the early weeks of this season.

It fell to Granit Xhaka to put the seal on the win, after Emerson Royal was sent off. The Arsenal midfielder grabbed his second Premier League goal of the season, with this the first campaign where he has managed more than one league strike since he netted four times in the 2018-19 season.

Liverpool 3-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Trossard heroics stun Reds

Leandro Trossard became just the third opposing player to score a Premier League hat-trick at Anfield, joining former Coventry City winger Peter Ndlovu and ex-Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin in that curious club. Arshavin famously hit four in a 4-4 draw in April 2009, the highest-scoring Premier League draw at Liverpool's home ground.

Saturday's feat meant Belgium international Trossard became the first Brighton player to score a Premier League hat-trick, and it left Liverpool four points behind the Seagulls after seven games each, with this game quite the baptism for new boss Roberto De Zerbi.

Liverpool have just two wins from seven games, and they were thankful for Roberto Firmino's sharp finishing as he scored twice, taking his tally for the season to five Premier League goals, all coming at Anfield. He scored five across the 2021-22 season, all away from home.

Mohamed Salah remains stuck on two goals in this campaign but he marked his 200th Premier League appearance with a 50th assist when he set up Firmino to trim Brighton's lead to 2-1 in the first half. Salah becomes just the third African player to reach 50 assists in the competition, after Didier Drogba (55) and Riyad Mahrez (51).

 

Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea: Gallagher returns to rock Eagles

Conor Gallagher came off the bench to deliver a 90th-minute knockout blow with Chelsea's winner against the side they loaned him to last season.

It meant Crystal Palace's losing run against Chelsea extended to 10 Premier League matches, and also boosted the Blues' record to nine wins in their last 10 away London derbies against all teams.

New Chelsea boss Graham Potter watched on in his first Premier League game since joining from Brighton, and he saw former Barcelona and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang mark his league debut for the visitors with a first-half equaliser. Aubameyang also scored in his first game for Arsenal (against Everton in February 2018).

Odsonne Edouard's opener in the seventh minute was the earliest goal Chelsea have conceded in a Premier League away game since January 2021, when Wilfred Ndidi scored for Leicester City in the sixth minute.

Fulham 1-4 Newcastle United: Magpies take flight thanks to Almiron's capital double

Miguel Almiron had been Newcastle's home boy of late, with his last seven Premier League goals coming at St James' Park, so Saturday's double at Craven Cottage bucked a trend.

A fine volley followed by a close-range finish from the Paraguayan helped Newcastle to their joint-biggest victory under Eddie Howe in the Premier League (also 3-0 vs Norwich City in April), and a biggest league win in London since beating Fulham 4-0 in May 2019.

Almiron last scored away from home in the Premier League in another 4-1 win for Newcastle – against Howe's Bournemouth in July 2020.

Fulham were hindered by a red card for Nathaniel Chalobah after seven minutes and 26 seconds, the earliest a player has been sent off for the club in the Premier League since Ian Pearce against Palace in October 2004 (sixth minute).

Mikel Arteta saluted Gabriel Jesus for taking Arsenal "to a different level" after the Brazilian scored in Saturday's 3-1 derby win over Tottenham.

Jesus seized on Hugo Lloris' mistake to hand Arsenal a 2-1 second-half lead at the Emirates Stadium, before Granit Xhaka made the points safe with an excellent low finish.

Only Erling Haaland (12) has been involved in more Premier League goals than Jesus (eight) in the Premier League this season.

Meanwhile, only Andrey Arshavin (nine) has recorded more goal contributions in his first eight Premier League appearances for Arsenal.

Speaking to BT Sport after the win, manager Arteta said the drive that Jesus has brought since joining from Manchester City has improved his young team this season.

"It's his winning mentality," Arteta said. "The way he trains every day, it brings confidence to the team, and he has taken us to a different level."

Table-topping Arsenal ended Tottenham's unbeaten start to the Premier League season with their convincing win, and Arteta described the Gunners' performance as "phenomenal".

"We went for it, and we created great energy in the stadium and deserved to win the game," Arteta said.

"With our way of playing, we can attack in different ways. They [Tottenham] don't need much, and you have the feeling that they can create. You have to live with that.

"But we didn't have that in the back of our mind. We were free, courageous and brave, and this is what we demand from the players. It gives us a lot of encouragement and confidence to believe that we can play at this level."

Arteta is just the third manager in Arsenal's history to win each of his first three home games against Tottenham, after George Morrell between 1909 and 1911 and Terry Neill between 1977 and 1979. He feels delighted by the bond between his side and the fans.

"We have connected with our supporters and when that happens it is a really powerful thing," Arteta added when speaking to BBC Sport.

"We had a really meaningful opportunity to give a lot of people happiness on a beautiful day, and we have delivered that, and it is a really great feeling.

"We are focusing on what we are doing. This is a sign that we are going in the right direction. We need to maintain that now and go for it.

"You feel the desire and humility – they haven't won anything yet and that is important to have that humility, which is a big driver for us."

Arsenal were deserved winners against rivals Tottenham in Saturday's north London derby, so say goalscorers Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka.

The Gunners moved four points clear of Spurs at the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 win at Emirates Stadium, dealing Antonio Conte's team their first top-flight defeat of the campaign in the process.

Thomas Partey joined Jesus and Xhaka on the scoresheet as Arsenal posted a third successive home Premier League win over Spurs – the first time they have done so since September 2013.

Only once have they put together a longer such run in the competition, beating their fierce rivals in a sixth consecutive match at home in April 2005.

Jesus – whose tally of eight goal contributions is only bettered by his replacement at Manchester City, Erling Haaland (12), in the Premier League this season – is convinced Arsenal were the better team from the off.

"It's the second time I scored in a derby game, the first was against Argentina [for Brazil]," he told BT Sport. 

"I'm very happy, of course I want to score in every game, but also the way the team played, from the first minute, we showed what we wanted in the game.

"We won the game, that's the main thing. First half we were playing better [than Tottenham], in my opinion. We deserved to win today because we wanted to play the game, make passes, create chances.

"How many chances did we create today? The spirit of the team is amazing."

Jesus has been an instant hit at Arsenal since his move from City in July, and is relishing his role under Mikel Arteta.

He added: "I'm feeling at home. The staff, the club, they help me feel at home and that helps the players that join the club. I'm really happy here."

Xhaka, who put Arsenal back in front after Harry Kane's penalty had restored parity, echoed Jesus' sentiment. 

"Absolutely. We didn't have a lot of weeks to prepare the game because of the international break, but we saw yesterday in training that we were ready," he said.

"We saw exactly what we want and how Gabi said, from the first second we were the better team.

"After the goal we conceded we were struggling, but this is football. After, in the second half we were much better.

"My first derby goal in England, I'm more than happy to help the team. The most important thing is the team, and I'm so happy to help the team and win."

Xhaka has scored twice in the Premier League this season, making the current campaign the first in which he has scored more than once since 2018-19 (four).

The midfielder also has three assists this term, giving him a total of five direct goal contributions – only in 2017-18 (eight) and 2018-19 (six) has he registered more goal involvements in a Premier League season.

"Every defeat has a scar," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham. Some of those scars, one would imagine, are bigger than others.

Saturday's reunion with Spurs would have evoked particularly painful memories for Arsenal players and fans.

The last time the sides had met, in May, Arsenal missed the chance to secure Champions League qualification as they lost 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. When the Gunners then lost again in their next match at Newcastle United, Tottenham stole in to finish fourth.

Of course, the entire collapse played out before the Amazon cameras for Arsenal's All or Nothing documentary series.

Antonio Conte, the Tottenham coach, is yet to finish the series – although he plans to – but did confirm this week he had watched "that episode".

However, Arteta's team, Conte added, are "better" than in 2021-22 – "not only the quality but also the mentality of Arsenal".

Indeed, Arsenal suffered another damaging 3-0 defeat late last season at Crystal Palace but won 2-0 on their return to Selhurst Park on the opening day of this season. Before the international break, there was a 3-0 win at Brentford that Arsenal players were not quiet in celebrating, having also been humiliated there on their previous visit.

So, the revenge tour rolled on to Tottenham, with Arteta determined to use that May reverse "in the right way", suggesting Arsenal were not just better but better specifically because of that setback.

And for almost 30 minutes at Emirates Stadium, just about everything went to plan.

Arsenal – top of the Premier League table heading into a game against Spurs for the first time since 2007 – played as they had done all season.

The Gunners dominated possession and penned Tottenham in. When Thomas Partey curled in a brilliant opener from 25 yards after 20 minutes, Kane was the only Spurs player ahead of the ball.

It was the fourth time Arsenal had scored this season following a sequence of 10 or more passes – matching Manchester City's league high – and the third in their past two fixtures alone.

An eighth Arsenal goal in the opening half an hour of matches this season represented another Premier League benchmark, but their familiar frailties were also on show before that period was out.

While forcing Spurs back suited Arteta's game plan, it also played into the visitors' hands.

Tottenham lead the league in direct attacks in 2022-23, and the first in a series of rapid counters ended with a rash challenge from Gabriel on Richarlison and a Spurs penalty.

No fixture in Premier League history has seen more spot-kicks, and when Harry Kane coolly converted, it marked his fourth consecutive goal from the spot at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were suddenly struggling, with only the imperious William Saliba stemming the tide, and in need of the mentality Conte had lauded.

Yet the Spurs coach had also identified the cause of this shift, citing the importance of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus – "two players who are used to winning" – arriving from City.

Zinchenko was fit to start, while Jesus was refreshed after missing out on the Brazil squad and vowing to "improve" in a bid to earn a World Cup recall.

Arsenal's number nine attempted a game-high four shots – all of them after Spurs had equalised – and there was no surprise when he was the man on hand to prod in a vital second after Hugo Lloris twice failed to gather in front of his goal line.

With Arsenal this time determined not to shoot themselves in the foot, it was Tottenham's turn to lose their composure, seeing Emerson Royal sent off for a poor challenge on Gabriel Martinelli and failing to track the rejuvenated Granit Xhaka as he ran through to add the clinching third.

Coasting thereafter, a partying Emirates crowd welcomed Arsenal's first win against 'big six' opposition this season – key, surely, to hopes to turn a strong start into a genuine title challenge.

Maybe success against City or Liverpool – teams Arteta has beaten only once in 10 combined attempts – will be required to turn the doubters into believers, for the Arsenal manager has now won each of his first three league matches at home to Spurs and had not until now looked like leading a team into contention.

But given the manner in which last season ended, given the self-inflicted adversity before half-time, this 3-1 Arsenal victory could not been as anything other than a significant step forward.

"It's the nicest game of the season by a mile," Arteta said on Friday. Little over 24 hours later, unlike in May, it felt like it.

Second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka fired Premier League leaders Arsenal to a 3-1 win over 10-man Tottenham in an entertaining North London Derby on Saturday.

Arsenal were rewarded for a bright start when Thomas Partey produced a stunning long-range finish after 20 minutes, but Harry Kane swiftly levelled with a penalty.

The impressive Gunners hit the front again when Jesus bundled home following Hugo Lloris' mistake, and Tottenham's hopes of a comeback were dashed when Emerson Royal was sent off. 

Xhaka then drilled into the bottom-right corner as Mikel Arteta's rampant side moved four points clear of Manchester City and consigned their fierce rivals to a first Premier League defeat of the season.

Both goalkeepers were called into action during a lively start, with Lloris tipping Gabriel Martinelli's fierce volley onto his right-hand post before Aaron Ramsdale clawed Richarlison's effort away from the bottom-right corner.

Arsenal enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and took a deserved lead when Partey curled an excellent first-time strike into the top-right corner from outside the area.

But the Gunners contrived to gift Tottenham an equaliser after 31 minutes, with Kane stroking home his 44th London derby goal from the penalty spot after Gabriel Magalhaes clumsily felled Richarlison.

Arsenal required just four minutes of the second half to move back into the lead, as Lloris pushed Bukayo Saka's tame shot straight to Jesus, who gratefully prodded home.

Jesus missed a good chance to extend Arsenal's lead when he failed to convert a header three minutes later, but Spurs' task was made far more difficult when Emerson saw red for a reckless challenge on Martinelli.

Emerson's dismissal allowed Arsenal to push forward in search of a third goal, and they made the points safe when Xhaka fired a low finish beyond Lloris from inside the box.

Mikel Arteta expects Arsenal to benefit from Gabriel Jesus' absence from the Brazil squad as he hopes to show Tite what he is missing before the World Cup.

Arsenal are top of the Premier League ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham on Saturday, but none of their three senior Brazilian stars were called up by the Selecao last month.

Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Jesus had all been part of Tite's squad during the previous international window in June.

Yet they now face a race against time to prove themselves before Qatar 2022, which kicks off next month.

Jesus was a particularly surprising omission, having scored four goals and assisted another three in seven league appearances since joining Arsenal in July.

But Arteta revealed a determined response from his number nine, telling reporters of Jesus: "He's incredibly humble.

"He accepted the decision and the way he trained, it was just: 'Okay, I need to improve. I need to get better. I need to do more. I really want to be there [at the World Cup], it's a big aspiration for me, it's an incredible opportunity. And I'm in the right place to do that.'

"So, I think we will see that on the pitch again."

At international level, Jesus appears to be in direct competition with Spurs striker Richarlison, who has hit form at the right time with seven goals in his past six outings for Brazil.

Jesus is set to come up against him this weekend, but Arteta says his striker cannot be concerned by how others fare.

"He can only control what he can do. He cannot control what other players do," the Arsenal manager said. "And he's only focusing on that.

"So, he has ambition. We know that he plays with incredible commitment. And [on Saturday] he will play that way."

Saturday's North London derby carries greater significance than usual, with unprecedented bragging rights available for Tottenham against Arsenal.

The Gunners' standing at the top of the Premier League marks the first occasion since December 2007 that the two sides have faced off against each other with one of them top of the league.

And a Spurs victory would mark the first time in top-flight history that a win in the derby results in one side replacing the other at the summit.

Both teams are in stellar form so far in the 2022-23 campaign, with Arsenal's only blip coming in a defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, while Spurs stand alongside Manchester City as the only teams yet to taste defeat this term.

Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte have more than steadied their respective ships since taking charge, but all managers have a stern challenge this campaign due to the World Cup, with the end of the international break beginning a seven-week countdown until the first fixture in Qatar.

Building momentum before the season pauses will therefore be vital, and both sides will look to their leading forwards to drive them, though the players differ as one has an established record while the other is at the start of their derby journey.

Kane's killer edge

Tottenham striker Harry Kane is well renowned for his goalscoring prowess and few have experienced it first hand as much as Arsenal, with the England skipper scoring 13 times in the Premier League against the Gunners – more than any other player in the competition's history.

That tally includes a brace against Arteta's side in a 3-0 victory in May, a result which altered the course of the top-four battle and ultimately resulted in Spurs' place in the Champions League and Arsenal's continued absence from the top-tier of European football.

Defending against Spurs, and Kane, has been a clear problem in recent years, with six of the forward's 13 goals in North London derbies coming from the penalty spot, and he will fancy his chances against an Arsenal side who continue to have issues at the back.

While the season has yielded six wins in seven matches for Arsenal, clean sheets have been an issue with the Gunners yet to secure one at the Emirates Stadium in 2022-23 amid an eight-game sequence at home failing to keep the opposition at bay.

If Arsenal do manage to keep Kane quiet, Son Heung-min provides another huge threat.

Son will be encouraged after ending his early season drought with a stunning hat-trick as a substitute against Leicester City prior to the international break.

He has been involved in six goals in his last five against the Gunners (four goals, two assists), though only one of those has been on Arsenal soil.

Jesus takes the wheel

With Spurs possessing two players with an established record of causing Arsenal problems, Arteta will hope to rely on Gabriel Jesus to begin his own streak in his first north London derby appearance.

The Brazil forward has swiftly become an integral part of Arteta's squad, contributing four goals and three assists in his first seven Premier League appearances, though the Gunners are waiting on him to prove himself as a big-game player in his early days at the club.

While at City, Jesus failed to score in nine derby appearances against Manchester United and found the net just once against Tottenham – but he was never the leading man for Pep Guardiola, in contrast to his role at Arsenal.

Jesus' predecessors at Arsenal had decent form against Spurs, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having four goals in seven derby appearances and Alexandre Lacazette scoring four in nine, highlighting a void that the Gunners need filling.

Arsenal may have shared scoring responsibility this season, Jesus with four while Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have three, but it is their big-money recruit who needs to deliver on Saturday to deny Spurs and Kane a memorable result.

Tottenham forward Lucas Moura has been hugely impressed by compatriot Gabriel Jesus following his excellent start to life at Arsenal.

The two Brazilians will face off in Saturday's north London derby, which carries additional importance as a win for Antonio Conte's Spurs side would see them leapfrog the Gunners to go top of the Premier League.

To secure a win, Spurs will need to keep Jesus at bay, which might be far from an easy task considering he has scored four goals and contributed three assists in seven league appearances since joining from Manchester City.

While the pair will be rivals on Saturday, Moura has been impressed by how striker Jesus has excelled up to now in Mikel Arteta's side.

"The kid started to score and doesn't stop. First on the personal side, on the friendship side, I'm very happy for him. He is a very deserving boy, of great quality," Moura told Stats Perform.

"He left a big club and went to Arsenal, and he's doing very well there. The whole team is doing very well. Arsenal has been playing very well. Without a doubt, it will be a very good match for the fans to watch."

The clash at Emirates Stadium presents a stern test for Spurs, with the Gunners winning their last two at home against Spurs, but Moura is confident his side can compete for a win.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 against Spurs at home in the Premier League, since a 3-2 loss in November 2010, but Spurs sense a chance to end that long wait for derby away-day success.

"It's going to be a very interesting game and we have to prepare well. It's a direct fight, against a rival, so it's going to be a tough game," Moura said. "Even more so at their stadium. But I think we have the quality to get there and fight for the three points.

"It's the kind of match that every player likes to play, every fan likes to watch, full of Brazilians on the pitch, and we'll see what happens."

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