Arteta refuses to be drawn on whether they are now title contenders

Mikel Arteta believes derby victory over Tottenham will give his players the belief they are ready to compete at the top level… but he refuses to be drawn on whether they are now contenders for Premier League title

  • Leaders Arsenal moved four points clear of Manchester City after 3-1 victory 
  • The Gunners were full value for their derby win at the Emirates on Saturday
  •  Mikel Arteta’s side stepped up after the break with goals by Jesus and Xhaka

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes the 3-1 victory over Tottenham should give his players belief they can challenge at the top this season. 

The Gunners were full value for their derby win, gaining revenge for Tottenham’s win across north London in May, which effectively condemned their opponents to the Europa League.

They opened the scoring through Partey’s fine 25-yard strike and, after Kane scored his 14th goal in 18 north London derbies from the spot, Mikel Arteta’s side stepped up after the break.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was delighted with the 3-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday

Jesus bundled home after a poor Hugo Lloris error and moments after Emerson’s red card Xhaka killed the game.

‘For me the message is to the players and everybody here at the club that we are able to play at this level against this kind of opponent,’ the Spaniard said. ‘That should give them confidence and belief.

‘It’s great. Looking at the table and seeing the club in this position is great. It gives you a great feeling obviously. But we are focused.

Thomas Partey opened the scoring for Arsenal in spectacular fashion from outside the box

‘It’s a really hungry and humble team, believe me. It’s nothing that we have done yet and there’s still a lot of things to improve. That’s the direction we’re taking.

‘We just started and we’re really happy with where we are. The table says what it says and we don’t look at that.

‘Great performance, a great day. It was an incredible atmosphere to play in so I’m so grateful to the people who connect to the team in such a special way.

‘I’m really happy because it’s an opportunity to get a lot of people happy and proud and I think we delivered that to all of them.’

Hugo Loris fumbled the ball right into the path of Jesus who rolled the ball into the net 

Granit Xhaka scored Arsenal’s third goal with a low finish after Emerson Royal’s red card

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