If Arsenal had been quietly assembling their usual top-four case before facing Chelsea at the Emirates, their first-half display against the Blues was a statement of intent blared over loudspeakers.
Walking in at half time three goals to the good against a fellow rival for the Champions League spots was the perfect anniversary gift for Arsene Wenger, who was celebrating his 20th year at the club.
Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil got the goals. The first two came in a flurry as the Gunners obliterated the recent hoodoo Chelsea had held over them:
2 – After six games without scoring against Chelsea in the Premier League, Arsenal have scored twice in the opening 14 minutes. Liquid.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 24, 2016
The victory made it four Premier League wins in a row for Arsenal. Only Manchester City have a longer current streak.
Such is the magnetism of the Citizens play during the first six games of the season, it has been easy to miss the form of the north Londoners, who have found a way through their early-season malaise and have quickly become a strong candidate for yet another top-four finish.
The fixture list looks favourable too, with Burnley, Swansea, Middlesbrough and Sunderland to play before their next real test against Tottenham in the north-London derby in November, followed immediately by a trip to Manchester United.
By then it’s conceivable that the Gunners could be riding an eight-game winning streak into the Spurs match, with their price to land in the top-four shrivelled far shorter than the 1/2 it is currently.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing