Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal are better equipped to win the title this season

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal’s frantic 3-2 derby win at Tottenham shows they are better equipped to win the Premier League this season – but warned his players not to get carried away.

The Gunners had raced into a three-goal first-half lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s own goal was added to by a Bukayo Saka strike and Kai Havertz header.

The hosts had seen a Micky van de Ven leveller ruled out by a marginal offside VAR call but rallied after the break, pulling one back as Cristian Romero took full advantage of a David Raya mistake before a late Son Heung-min penalty set up a grandstand finish.

Arsenal survived to complete a north London derby double for the season and ensure they would remain top of the Premier League table until at least next Saturday.

Having led the way for so long last term before eventually being caught and passed by a Manchester City side en route to winning the treble, Arteta feels this win and the likes of a 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea in midweek proves Arsenal have learnt from the experience.

“I think so,” the Spaniard replied when asked if Arsenal are better equipped to win the title this time around.

“When you win it’s always the case. Last season we didn’t because we went to West Ham and we missed a penalty and against Liverpool we conceded in the 91st minute and then you’re not capable.

“At the end the judgement is going to be based on that outcome. If they got the goal in the last minute to make it 3-3 then we say ‘wouldn’t have been ready’.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Bukayo Saka scored a superb second goal for Arsenal (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“The margins are so small. Don’t get carried away with yourself. We want to be better. There are margins for improvement. Go again against Bournemouth because it’s going to be really tough.”

Arteta also revealed he was hoping for divine intervention in the closing stages, adding: “I was praying. There were so many Spurs players in the box. It was a really emotional game. We had to dig in and suffer and react. I’m very pleased with the way the team has done it.”

Defeat for Tottenham damages their hopes of a top-four finish, with boss Ange Postecoglou left frustrated by the officiating against Arsenal.

Dejan Kulusevski saw a penalty shout waved away just seconds before Arsenal broke and Havertz brilliantly fed Saka to double the lead.

The fact a VAR intervention was then required to award Tottenham’s second-half spot-kick after Declan Rice kicked Ben Davies only added to the complaint.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Ange Postecoglou questioned the refereeeing in Tottenham’s defeat (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“It doesn’t matter how I saw it,” said Postecoglou. “What matters is what I’ve said all along, games are not refereed in the stadium any more. They are refereed somewhere else and no one will convince me otherwise.

“It’s not even re-refereed, it’s refereed somewhere else. That’s why I don’t celebrate goals any more. I wait for somebody down the road. I just don’t think referees in the stadium any more have that authority they used to to make decisions.

“They just go ‘you know what, I’ll just wait and see what the bloke down the road thinks’. It’s a shame. I don’t like it but it’s here to stay and I’ve got to accept it like everyone else.”

Postecoglou, though, was pleased with Romero’s display – the Argentinian defender having rattled a post with a first-half header before reducing the arrears after Raya passed the ball straight to him.

“Yes, he was outstanding,” he added. “He’s a World Cup winner and I’ve just got to get some of what’s in him into some of the others. It’s disappointing.

“The outcome was disappointing. We wanted to win today for our supporters and for the club. We didn’t do that and whatever I think about the performance it’s still the outcome that sits on you. I thought our general football was good, was decent.”