Arsenal moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with an entertaining victory at Brighton.
This result, allied to Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Everton, extends Arsenal’s advantage heading in to 2023.
The visitors were cruising at 3-0 thanks goals by Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Eddie Nketiah before Kaoru Mitoma pulled one back.
Gabriel Martinelli settled any nerves with Arsenal’s fourth before Evan Ferguson added Brighton’s second with his first league goal.
Mitoma had a second goal chalked off to deny the home fans a grandstand finish as Arsenal held on for a deserved three points.
Brighton were a long way off the pace for the first hour, but after Martinelli had restored the three-goal advantage they showed great spirit to reduce the arrears again through Ferguson.
They were then convinced they had made it 4-3 with two minutes remaining when Mitoma looked to have scored again, but after a VAR check the Japanese midfielder was revealed to be just offside.
Arsenal are back in action against Newcastle United on Tuesday, buoyed by an increasingly formidable-looking lead over champions City with both sides having played 16 games.