Arsenal remain top of the Premier League table after 13 games following their 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Sunday (6 November).
The Gunners have been in fine form since the beginning of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, and while some tipped them to eventually fall off, they proved their title credentials all over again by handing one of the bigwigs a defeat.
Both teams were unable to open the scoring in the first-half, with the visitors creating and missing more chances than the hosts.
However, things changed when play restarted for the second-half, with Bukayo Saka’s corner-kick somehow evading everyone and finding Gabriel Magalhaes after 18 minutes to put Mikel Arteta’s side into the lead.
Chelsea barely threatened Arsenal defence afterwards, and the Gunners could not create any more clear-cut chances going forward, but they played well and deserved to leave with all three points to keep up their momentum.
With 11 victories, a draw and a defeat so far, the North Londoners are starting to look like the real deal, with victories over the Blues, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool showing that they mean business this term after years of constant struggles.
They travel to 19th-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday (12 November) for their last game before the World Cup break, and not even Wednesday’s (9 November) elimination in the third round of the League Cup following a 3-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion should stop them from picking up all three points at the Molineux Stadium against Julen Lopetgui’s side.
With just two points standing between them and second-placed Manchester City, Arsenal know they cannot afford to slip up, and heading into the break on top of the table will keep them motivated ahead of the resumption of action on Boxing Day.
While things are going well for Arteta’s side, Graham Potter has not been able to maintain momentum after appearing to hit the ground running since leaving the Seagulls for Chelsea, suffering back-to-back draws and back-to-back defeats in the last four Premier League games.
The Blues started life under the Englishman with three straight league wins, but things have not gone well afterwards, and midweek’s elimination in the third-round of the League Cup following a 2-0 loss to Man City have not helped matters.
Chelsea are seventh in the Premier League table following six wins, three draws and four defeats, and Saturday’s (12 November) trip to St. James’ Park to face third-placed Newcastle United is expected to be a stern and tough test.
The Magpies have the joint-best defence so far this term and have only lost one of 14 games, so Chelsea will need to be on top of their game if they do not want to head into the break with a third straight defeat.
Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel after the Blues’ uninspiring start to the season under the German, but taking them into the last-16 of the Champions League is the only noteworthy thing the new boss has done since arriving, and that is simply not good enough for a team expected to challenge for the Premier League title and other major honours.