Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted there was nonetheless a “long, long” strategy to go within the Premier League title race after the leaders ended the 12 months seven factors clear courtesy of an exhilarating 4-2 win at Brighton.
Goals from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli helped the Gunners tighten their stranglehold on high spot going into 2023.
The guests led 3-0 and 4-1 on the Amex Stadium however survived a nervy end after a VAR intervention prevented the Seagulls decreasing the deficit to 4-3 with a minute to play.
A fifth consecutive top-flight success for the north London membership noticed them take full benefit of nearest rivals Manchester City and Newcastle being held to dwelling attracts earlier within the day.
Despite the wholesome place, head coach Arteta, whose facet host the third-placed Magpies on Tuesday, stated his squad weren’t getting carried away.
“It’s still a long, long run to go,” he stated of the title race.
“My pleasure comes after I go within the dressing room and the gamers are speaking about what they need to have achieved higher immediately.
“And that means that they know that we can still play better and be better, and against Newcastle we have to be better.
“(It was a) big win, really happy, a really tough place to come.”
Saka, Odegaard and Nketiah struck to depart Arsenal in a commanding place simply two minutes into the second half.
Kaoru Mitoma lowered Albion’s deficit 25 minutes from time earlier than Martinelli, aided by an exquisite Odegaard help, regarded to have put the outcome past doubt.
But William Saliba’s error allowed 18-year-old Seagulls striker Evan Ferguson to say a maiden Premier League purpose and, with strain constructing, the Gunners have been relieved to be spared a grandstand end after Mitoma had an 89th-minute effort disallowed on evaluate for a marginal offside.
“I’ve seen it all in this league,” Arteta stated of the late drama.
“I’ve been in this country for 20 years so I’ve seen it and I could expect that momentum shifts very quickly and it’s really difficult to stop it.
“Obviously the goal got disallowed and we had much more room to win the game, but you have to be prepared for that.
“You don’t come to this place with this team and get a comfortable win, it doesn’t happen.”
Brighton head coach Roberto Zerbi stated: “It was a strange game.
“We suffered four goals in a strange way and at crucial moments, especially the first and last goals, but I think we played a good game against a fantastic team.
“I’m sad for the result, but not for the quality of our play, our attitude and our bravery.
“We closed the game with a lot of very young players, but I can’t say anything bad of them or the performance.
“We know Arsenal’s quality, they have fantastic players and a fantastic coach.”