Arsenal won a six-goal thriller at Aston Villa, scoring twice in stoppage time to reclaim the Premier League lead.
Jorginho’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced in off Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez to put Arsenal up 3-2, before Villa substitute Gabriel Martinelli raced clear to score.
In the first half, Villa took the lead twice, through Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho.
Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko scored either side of halftime to keep them at bay.
Arsenal’s win ended a three-game losing streak and restored their lead over Manchester City, whom they had lost to in midweek.
The game started at a fast pace, and Villa took the lead within five minutes thanks to Watkins’ fourth goal in as many games.
On the counter, he caught Arsenal off guard, latching on to Matty Cash’s long pass before beating William Saliba and finding the far corner.
Arsenal’s response time was only 11 minutes. Saka equalised with a powerful effort into the roof of the net moments after Tyrone Mings cleared Eddie Nketiah’s shot on to the bar.
Coutinho, making his first league start under Villa manager Unai Emery, put the hosts back in front with a calm finish from inside the area.
On the hour, Zinchenko found space on the edge of the box and fired in from a short corner at the near post for his first goal for Arsenal, before Nketiah fired over minutes later.
With 14 minutes remaining, Martin Odegaard shot wide, and it appeared that Arsenal’s day would be ruined unless Jorginho and Martinelli made crucial contributions.
Gunners show resolve
There had been much speculation about Arsenal’s title chances following their defeat to City, despite the fact that they entered this match level on points with a game in hand.
For a long time, it appeared that they would fall short again.
But those stoppage-time goals, as well as the fact that they came from behind twice, demonstrated their mental fortitude.
Even when Nketiah and Odegaard missed chances and Villa went for it themselves, there was no panic as they probed and pushed late on.
Winning championships requires overcoming adversity under pressure, which Arsenal did today.
“We can take two big lessons,” manager Mikel Arteta told BBC Sport. “In the first half we did the simple things wrong and in the second half we raised our individual level and did the simple things right.
“We totally merited the win.”
Martinez ’embarrasses’ Emery
Tactically, Emery’s strategy was clear, and it almost worked.
Villa had the better start and scored first. Even after Saka’s goal, Villa maintained their threat with Watkins, Coutinho, and Emi Buendia.
With the lead at the break, they were able to stay compact and absorb Arsenal pressure, and despite conceding again, Watkins continued to cause problems.
Bringing on Leon Bailey could have paid dividends, but Arsenal found a way to beat Emery’s former club.
While Martinez was unlucky with his own goal, Villa manager Emery was furious with his goalkeeper for going up for the corner from which Arsenal broke away to score their fourth.
“Today I am very, very disappointed,” Emery said. “I’m sorry about the last goal. I’ve never told my keeper to proceed. This is not the spirit.
“We must keep our minds clear and be astute. He decided it was his decision today. He now understands.”
Villa are 11th in the table following their third straight defeat.