When Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 victory at Fulham on Sunday to counter Manchester City’s triumph the previous day, they showed no signs of feeling the strain of trying to win the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
In contrast to last week, when the Gunners needed a goal in stoppage time to defeat Bournemouth, at Craven Cottage, Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli, and skipper Martin Odegaard all scored before halftime.
In the first half of their 0-0 draw at home against bottom-placed Southampton, third-placed Manchester United’s Casemiro got sent off.
With their first victory in six league games, Newcastle United moved up to fifth place, passing Liverpool, thanks to a 2-1 home triumph over struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to a goal in stoppage time from Miguel Almiron.
West Ham United’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at home allowed them to escape the relegation zone on goal differential.
While Manchester City is competing in the FA Cup quarterfinals, Arsenal regained a five-point lead and might extend it to eight points before the impending international break when they visit Crystal Palace the next weekend.
The Arsenal are the first team in English Football League history to win five straight London derbies away from home without conceding thanks to their easy victory at Fulham.
“Really happy. It’s a really tough place to come, they’re a really well organised team and I think we dominated the game, we created lots of chances, we kept a clean sheet and we won the game in a convincing way,” manager Mikel Arteta said.
Gabriel Jesus, a forward who recently made his first appearance since suffering an injury while representing Brazil at the World Cup in December, gave Arsenal’s cause a further boost.
“It’s a massive boost. He’s been out for a while now. We know what he’ll give to the team. We’re excited to have him back,” captain Odegaard said.