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.”
Starting the weekend right pic.twitter.com/9O4D5XJjwB
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 1, 2022
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.
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