Soccer-Arsenal show title credentials with gritty win at Chelsea

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[1/2] Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Arsenal - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - November 6, 2022 Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Gabriel observe aft the lucifer Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Arsenal's controlled 1-0 triumph astatine London rivals Chelsea connected Sunday offered the strongest grounds this play that the Gunners tin yet situation again for the rubric that has eluded them for astir 20 years.

Arsenal players and fans celebrated loudly aft the lucifer astatine Stamford Bridge, knowing the 3 points not lone took them backmost supra Manchester City astatine the apical of the array but besides confirmed they tin wounded the Premier League's heavyweights.

The northbound Londoners claimed the lone extremity of the crippled - erstwhile defender Gabriel stabbed location aft a country eluded a drawstring of Chelsea players - but the constrictive triumph borderline masked their superiority implicit the 90 minutes.

The Gunners' lone league decision of the run was successful September distant to 1 of England's accepted apical six clubs, Manchester United, drafting disapproval that their beardown commencement to the play was based connected wins against lesser opposition.

Although they person beaten section rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool since then, some those wins were astatine home, adding to the consciousness that Sunday's triumph successful West London was a milestone successful their season.

Arsenal present person 34 points aft 13 games - the astir they person racked up astatine this signifier of the play since the Premier League was launched - and are 2 points up of second-placed Manchester City.

ANOTHER STEP

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta acknowledged the triumph represented "another step" for his squad who failed to decorativeness successful the apical 4 past season.

"We are getting overmuch amended arsenic a squad we are competing overmuch better. We are getting truly bully results close now," helium said.

But Arteta continued to play down Arsenal's chances of wresting the rubric from champions Manchester City.

"Just look astatine the past six years what Manchester City has done with the champion manager successful the world, with the champion squad successful the world. They person shown it consistently successful each azygous competition. We person to beryllium respectful of that," helium said.

Pressed again connected whether Arsenal were yet contenders for the title, the Spaniard constricted himself to saying: "We are today," earlier rapidly adding the play remained a marathon.

For Chelsea, a 2nd decision successful a enactment aft past weekend's 4-1 drubbing by Brighton & Hove Albion underscored the situation facing manager Graham Potter who is 2 months into his clip successful complaint of the Blues, and 13 points adrift of the Gunners.

"We huffed and puffed, I thought, but you could spot the quality betwixt the 2 teams successful presumption of confidence," Potter said. "We're not successful a fantastic infinitesimal arsenic we speak."

He said Chelsea - missing respective cardinal players done wounded - had to amended but warned that his rebuilding of the squad helium inherited from Thomas Tuchel would instrumentality time.

Potter pointed to the 3 years that Arteta has been successful complaint of Arsenal.

"I'm definite if you look astatine the Arsenal story, and wherever they are present arsenic to wherever they were 2 years ago, oregon 1 twelvemonth ago, it's somewhat different," helium said.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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