Gabriel Jesus is a doubt for Arsenal's trip to Leeds United on Sunday, while Mikel Arteta only foresees his side's fixture pile-up getting worse after the World Cup.

Inspired new signing Jesus had played in all 11 of Arsenal's matches this season before missing the midweek win over Bodo/Glimt due to a knock sustained in last Sunday's victory over Liverpool.

But a rare break on Thursday while his team-mates were in Europa League action was not necessarily enough to see Jesus return at Leeds.

Arteta looked ahead to the Leeds match after full-time in Norway, at which point he was still unsure of his striker's status for the game at Elland Road.

"I don't know," Arsenal manager Arteta said of Jesus. "Obviously he has some discomfort after the game against Liverpool, and that's why we decided not to bring him in [to Norway].

"So, let's see how he is."

After Leeds, Arsenal host PSV in a match that was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last month.

That will be the third of five consecutive Thursdays on which Arsenal have Europa League commitments, with each game followed by a Premier League fixture on the Sunday.

But that gruelling schedule is unlikely to ease any time soon, with the Gunners beginning their involvement in the EFL Cup and FA Cup either side of the World Cup, as well as having two more postponed games to play in the Premier League.

Were Arsenal to finish second in their Europa League group, they would have even more fixtures to squeeze in due to a play-off round.

"I think [the fixture congestion] is already here," Arteta said, "but I think after the World Cup, it is going to be even worse, so I think it is good preparation for what is coming."

The mood at Arsenal remains positive, though, as Arteta's side lead the Premier League and could stretch their advantage to four points ahead of Manchester City visiting Liverpool later on Sunday.

That prospect was put to the Gunners boss, but his focus was only on Leeds.

"The trick is how are we going to prepare for Leeds, mentally and physically," he said. "It's going to be a battle.

"We know the way they play and how intense it is going to be and the crowd that they have, so it's going to be a challenge. We have to be at our best again to win there."

Kieran Tierney was “gutted” to be overlooked for Arsenal’s win over Liverpool last weekend but says “I’m not going to be angry.”

Takehiro Tomiyasu got the nod at left-back over Tierney in the absence of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has made an impressive start to his Gunners career after his move from Manchester City.

Japan international Tomiyasu kept Reds forward Mohamed Salah quiet in a 3-2 win at the Emirates Stadium that put Mikel Arteta’s side back on top of the Premier League.

Scotland international Tierney has vowed to try and earn his place back rather than feel sorry for himself.

"I'm gutted, that's all it is," he told Sky Sports. "I'm not going to be angry, I'm not going to try hard, I'm gutted because I want to play every opportunity I can.

"Especially in the big games, you want to play and soak in the atmosphere. There's nothing I can say. We went out and won and Tomiyasu played amazing and the game plan worked. 

"I'm learning, I’m dealing with it, but it is tough, football is what I want to play.  Unfortunately, I’ve not played too many but every time I get a chance to play, I'm so grateful. I work as hard as I possibly can for the team.

"I'll just try and get my head down, work hard. I can't change anything other than how I approach training, how I work. So I'm just trying as hard as I possibly trying to work my way back in."

Arsenal travel to Leeds United on Sunday looking for a seventh consecutive win.

Mikel Arteta wants to see further improvement from Arsenal despite making it six wins on the trot with a hard-fought 1-0 away victory over Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League.

Bukayo Saka's deflected 24th-minute goal gave the Gunners the lead, but they faced serious pressure in the second half as their hosts pushed for an equaliser.

Tthe Norwegian champions' attempts to maintain their run of 14 straight home victories in European competition was ultimately ended however as their visitors clung on for 11 wins across 12 games this season.

Speaking afterwards however, Arteta acknowledged his side needed to up their game on the whole, despite professing his satisfaction with another taut triumph.

"I'm really happy with the win against a team that has won the last 14 here at home," the Spaniard told BT Sport.

"We were expecting a really tough night here, and we made a lot of changes again, but I’m delighted to find a way to win. To do that under any circumstances is a real positive for me and the team.

"They are really fast and the turnovers and giving away of the ball that you don’t usually expect. The ball was leaping, and it was out of your feet, and you give it away and the game becomes so fast.

"I'm happy, but at the same time we have to improve a lot."

Saka made it four goals for the season with his winner, but Arteta wants more from the 21-year-old.

"He can become much better," Arteta added. "He had moments in the game where he was really good and then moments he can improve and demand more of himself, especially defensively.

"There were moments where we allowed their left full-back to progress the play and break our press too easily. There are a lot of things to improve."

Arsenal were victorious despite making seven changes from the weekend's victory over Liverpool, and Arteta was delighted with the mentality of those he brought into the starting line-up.

"Today there were moments where we had to suffer, and we lost too many duels in the middle of the park," he said. "But the way the boys are trying and their hunger to win is there, and you can notice that."

Arsenal continued their excellent start to the campaign as a fortuitous first-half Bukayo Saka goal gave them a 1-0 away win over Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League, marking a sixth win in a row across all competitions.

A clever move gave the England international the ball in a good shooting position, and his deflected shot came back off the 21-year-old and into the net to give the Gunners the lead.

Bodo pressed for an equaliser in the second half, but a combination of Matt Turner and poor finishing allowed the Gunners to hold on for all three points.

Mikel Arteta's men made it 11 wins from 12 in all competitions to start the season as they consolidate their position at the top of Group A.

Arsenal went in front after 24 minutes, Saka playing a lovely one-two with Albert Sambi Lokonga before getting a huge slice of luck, as his shot rebounded off a defender back onto the winger's chest before bouncing in with the goalkeeper completely wrong-footed.

Bodo had a fantastic opportunity to level soon after as Runar Espejord's flick-on put Amahl Pellegrino through on goal, only for the forward to fire horribly wide.

Pellegrino had another big opportunity after the break, but his sidefooted shot was comfortably saved by Turner, before Ola Solbakken smashed just over the crossbar.

Espejord then should have scored when the ball fell to him in the box, but blazed his effort over as Bodo continued to threaten.

The hosts were persistent in their search for an equaliser, but Arsenal saw the game out to record another important victory.

Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney believes the unity that has characterised the Gunners' flying start to the new season has been years in the making under Mikel Arteta.    

Sunday's thrilling 3-2 win over Liverpool at Emirates Stadium ensured Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League, where they lead Manchester City by a solitary point after nine games.

The Gunners have won eight of their opening nine games in a top-flight campaign for just the fourth time in their history, having also done so in the 1947-48, 2004-05 and 2007-08 seasons.

Meanwhile, the last time Arsenal led the Premier League at a later stage of the season was on December 10, 2016, when they did so after 15 games. 

Arsenal's form represents quite the turnaround for Arteta, who has come under fire at various points during his three-year stint at the club, but Tierney believes recent campaigns laid the foundations for their current run.

Asked about the atmosphere around the club, Tierney told Arsenal's website: "I'd say it's the best since I've been here and I think that's a credit to all the fans, and the players and the staff. 

"It just feels like it has clicked – everybody has come together. You hear reactions after we concede goals, you very rarely hear that in football. 

"Our fans ended up drowning out the Liverpool fans after they scored, just to try and cheer us on, go again and try and get another goal. I think you need that.

"It's been building, even last season you could see it's been getting better and better between the players, the staff and the fans, and this season it's all just come together and we're one club, one unit."

Arsenal's victory over Liverpool – their eighth successive home league win – put them 14 points clear of last season's runners-up in the early-season standings, but Tierney is refusing to set any targets for his side. 

"It's only been nine games and you can't say anyone is anything after nine games," the Scotland international added. "If you look at last year, we were down in the table and we climbed our way up, so there's a long way to go and there's no point in even thinking like that.

"You want to stay [at the top] of course. I've got a bit of experience at Celtic when we were expected to be at the top and stay on the top as well, so it is familiar in that way for me that the pressure is on you to stay there. 

"The other teams are chasing you, and we want to keep that going as long as we can. Progress is the main thing. We've progressed every year, so we want to keep progressing well. 

"You just want to finish up as high as possible, and we know what we want and we'll keep working towards it."

Mikel Arteta lauded Gabriel Martinelli's "outstanding performance" after the Brazilian scored and created another in Arsenal's 3-2 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

Martinelli set the Gunners on their way after just 58 seconds with a cool finish, before teeing up Bukayo Saka after Darwin Nunez had levelled for the Reds.

Roberto Firmino equalised again for Jurgen Klopp's side, but Saka scored from the spot 14 minutes from full-time to seal an eighth win in nine Premier League games for a resurgent Arsenal.

Martinelli has now been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 14 appearances in the Premier League (five goals, five assists), and Arteta was full of praise for the 21-year-old.

"He's a great player," the Spaniard said in a press conference. "I think today he had an outstanding performance against a top defender and a top team and he made a difference in the game as well as the other players.

"That's the next level, to step up in these games and make things happen to win it."

Asked if Arsenal will try to tie Martinelli down to a long-term contract, Arteta responded: "We don't get directed by an individual performance. Gabby doesn't have to show me whether he plays well or not well.

"What is clear is his hunger, his determination and his love for this game. You don't know where he's going to reach because he's always asking and willing for more."

Arsenal have won at least eight of their first nine league matches in a top-flight campaign for only the fourth time, after 2007-08, 2004-05 and 1947-48.

This latest triumph lifted them back to the Premier League summit after Manchester City had usurped them on Saturday, with Arteta's side now holding a one-point lead.

It sparked jubilant scenes at the Emirates Stadium, and Arteta said the support from the stands has been crucial to his side's success this season.

"Just thank you so much to the boys and our supporters for experiencing an afternoon like this," he added. "It's what our profession is about to live days like this and I really enjoyed it. Especially the way we won.

"I've never seen it like this [the atmosphere]. You cannot imagine how much it helps the players and how much it gives them.

"One of the nicest things we've done since we are together here is to unite everybody and make them feel like when you go are you going to experience something together."

Arsenal are next in action on Thursday when they face Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League, before they visit Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday. 

Mikel Arteta hailed Gabriel Martinelli's "outstanding performance" after the Brazilian scored and created another in Arsenal's 3-2 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

Martinelli set the Gunners on their way after just 58 seconds with a cool finish, before teeing up Bukayo Saka after Darwin Nunez had levelled for the Reds.

Roberto Firmino equalised again for Jurgen Klopp's side, but Saka scored from the spot 14 minutes from full-time to seal an eighth win in nine Premier League games for a resurgent Arsenal.

Martinelli has now been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 14 appearances in the Premier League (five goals, five assists), and Arteta was full of praise for the 21-year-old.

"He's a great player," the Spaniard said in a press conference. "I think today he had an outstanding performance against a top defender and a top team and he made a difference in the game as well as the other players.

"That's the next level, to step up in these games and make things happen to win it."

Asked if Arsenal will try to tie Martinelli down to a long-term contract, Arteta responded: "We don't get directed by an individual performance. Gabby doesn't have to show me whether he plays well or not well.

"What is clear is his hunger, his determination and his love for this game. You don't know where he's going to reach because he's always asking and willing for more."

Arsenal have won at least eight of their first nine league matches in a top-flight campaign for only the fourth time, after 2007-08, 2004-05 and 1947-48.

This latest triumph lifted them back to the Premier League summit after Manchester City had usurped them on Saturday, with Arteta's side now holding a one-point lead.

It sparked jubilant scenes at the Emirates Stadium, and Arteta said the support from the stands has been crucial to his side's success this season.

"Just thank you so much to the boys and our supporters for experiencing an afternoon like this," he added. "It's what our profession is about to live days like this and I really enjoyed it. Especially the way we won.

"I've never seen it like this [the atmosphere]. You cannot imagine how much it helps the players and how much it gives them.

"One of the nicest things we've done since we are together here is to unite everybody and make them feel like when you go are you going to experience something together."

Arsenal are next in action on Thursday when they face Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League, before they visit Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday. 

Call it a coming of age if you like, or was this just a ringing endorsement of Pep Guardiola's verdict?

Either way, Arsenal are a thrill-seeker's delight at the top of the Premier League.

It used to be said that a 21st birthday marked a 'key to the door' moment, a moment of growing maturity and responsibility.

A new level of trust was what it signified, and perhaps Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka can now be trusted to deliver on their promise for Arsenal. Their abundant talent has never been in question, but now it's about consistency, being a grown-up in a grown-up's league.

Sunday's 3-2 win against Liverpool only served to show that Martinelli and Saka, who have both celebrated that landmark 21st birthday since the end of last season, are not merely giddy talents now but stars who deliver.

The clearing of the decks by Mikel Arteta took a while, and Arsenal's power-brokers trusted the manager while many lost faith. The manager's vision, shared by the club, was of afternoons such as this, where their young guns picked apart last season's Champions League finalists and double cup winners.

Guardiola's view, if you missed it, was that Arsenal's position at the top of the Premier League was far from false, even while his Manchester City team take most of the early-season plaudits.

The City manager said on Friday: "We cannot forget one thing, ladies and gentlemen: there is one team that has been better than us. This is the reality. Arsenal have been better than us so far."

Arsenal don't have an Erling Haaland; in fact, their centre forward is a City cast-off, Gabriel Jesus.

But here they had Martinelli, Saka, a 23-year-old captain in Martin Odegaard, a centre-back partnership of Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba – 24 and 21, respectively – and young full-backs in Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White, too.

Thirty-somethings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have left the building, so too for now the underachieving Nicolas Pepe, and Arsenal have not looked back.

It was quite a day for American football in north London, with the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants in action at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the Arsenal Gunners and the Liverpool Reds on parade at Emirates Stadium.

Scoff at that all you like, but the globalisation of the Premier League means these two US-owned teams, along with Todd Boehly's Chelsea and the Glazer family's Manchester United, are vying to challenge Abu Dhabi-run Manchester City.

The beautiful game dictated that it was a Brazilian who brought the stadium to life in just 58 seconds.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool used to be the swarmers in this fixture, buzzing in intimidating numbers, searching for that sweet, sweet nectar of early goals. Liverpool have stung Arsenal teams of the past with such strikes, from Robbie Fowler to Roberto Firmino.

Arsenal served them a dose of that medicine this time, with Saka finding Odegaard who fed Martinelli and he slammed past Alisson. Trent Alexander-Arnold lost the runner, with Arsenal scoring their earliest goal against Liverpool in the history of the Premier League.

Darwin Nunez bundled in a 34th-minute equaliser after Luis Diaz's cross, but Arsenal were back in front before the break, this time with Jesus freeing Martinelli on the left, and he dashed from the halfway line into the penalty area before passing low from the left to give Saka a tap-in.

Alexander-Arnold was replaced at half-time, supposedly due to injury, but the second Arsenal goal had come from a raid down his flank too, and the Gunners plainly had his number.

Firmino cracked a throughball from Diogo Jota beyond the reach of Aaron Ramsdale for a second Liverpool equaliser, but you doubted they would have a third in them if Arsenal regained the lead.

That was Firmino's 10th Premier League goal in 14 games for Liverpool against Arsenal, making him the outright top scorer in this fixture since the league's 1992-93 inauguration, one ahead of Fowler.

When Thiago Alcantara nibbled at Gabriel Jesus in the 73rd minute, Arsenal had a penalty and trusted Saka with it.

He was practically a boy when he missed for England in the Euro 2020 final shoot-out, but this is Saka the man, and he picked out the bottom-left corner with the utmost confidence.

Martinelli is the youngest Arsenal player to score and assist against Liverpool in the Premier League, Opta said. He has been involved in 10 goals in his last 14 appearances in the competition.

Arteta's win rate across all competitions has crept just above 57 per cent with this win in his 142nd game at the helm, and he stands mere decimal places behind Arsene Wenger (57.2 per cent from 1,235 games).

Having won just one of their last 14 Premier League games against Liverpool before this one, Arsenal have not merely stopped the rot.

They have started something they clearly intend to finish.

Key to the door? This team hold the key to there being any sort of title contest this season.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says defender Ben White can "make the step up" to be part of England's 2022 World Cup squad.

The 24-year-old centre-back was left out of Gareth Southgate's last England squad for the Nations League games against Italy and Germany.

Right-back Kyle Walker's groin injury has opened up the possibility of a World Cup recall for the versatile White, who has played that role with the Gunners this season.

"Ben would be very comfortable playing on the right side of a back three as well as in the middle or as a full-back," Arteta said.

"If you ask me if he is ready to make that step [to England], then the answer is yes because he is a very confident boy, he gives you absolutely everything, he is always available and he has the courage to play under real pressure."

White, who has four caps for England, was a replacement for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Euro 2020 squad after initially missing the cut.

Alexander-Arnold will be part of the Liverpool side to face Arsenal on Sunday and looms as one of the strongest contenders for the England right-back role.

"He is a very special talent," Arteta said about Alexander-Arnold. "What he adds offensively to the team every year is difficult to find in that position."

White, who was Brighton and Hove Albion's Player of the Season in 2020-21 before joining Arsenal, has made eight Premier League starts this term.

Football loves a redemption story, and it's fair to say Granit Xhaka is living one right now.

You don't have to cast your mind back too far to recall a time when the Switzerland international was practically persona non grata at Arsenal – in the fans' eyes, anyway.

Red cards, becoming a scapegoat, falling out with the supporters in the most public way imaginable: Xhaka's Arsenal career has rarely been straightforward.

And yet, as Mikel Arteta's Gunners prepare to make something of a title statement against Liverpool on Sunday, Xhaka knows his will be one of the first names on the team, and deservedly so.

It serves to highlight his unlikely return from the brink.

The problems

Xhaka arrived at Arsenal with a reputation as a clever but combative midfielder who was more than happy to get stuck in. After all, his five red cards in from the start of the 2013-14 season until the end of 2015-16 was the most of any Bundesliga player over that period, and only two players were booked more often (29).

There was an acceptance his style of play would be a risk, though many Gunners fans were adamant such forcefulness was missing from their midfield.

While Xhaka did show many qualities during his debut season, it was his disciplinary record and aggressive style that unsurprisingly defined him in the eyes of many, as he was shown three red cards across all competitions in the 2016-17 campaign.

He did then go three successive seasons without a red card, attributing his initial improvement in that area to Arsene Wenger back in November 2017, with video analysis seemingly crucial to the midfielder's learning. Though it should be said, he amassed 10 yellows in each of those three league campaigns, so it wasn't as if he suddenly became an angel.

The thing is, Xhaka's wild side may have been embraced or at least more readily forgiven were it not for his other on-pitch woes. Between August 2016 and September 2020, his 16 Opta-defined errors leading to shots were five more than any other Arsenal player across all competitions, while only Petr Cech and Bernd Leno (both seven) – goalkeepers, so you'd expect them to be punished more – committed a greater number of errors that led to goals (six).

Similarly, Xhaka's five penalty concessions over the same period was a joint-high at Arsenal with David Luiz. Essentially, there was a common perception emerging that he was liability even if he wasn't getting sent off.

The downfall

It was the last 12 months of the aforementioned four-year period when Xhaka's Arsenal days appeared numbered. In October 2019, exactly a month after being made captain, Xhaka was substituted during Crystal Palace's visit to the Emirates Stadium and a chorus of boos was aimed in his direction.

Xhaka made sarcastic gestures to the crowd in response, cupped his ear and then appeared to swear at the Arsenal fans as he was replaced by Bukayo Saka. He swiftly removed his jersey on his way down the tunnel.

Former Arsenal players and fans alike called for him to lose the captaincy after head coach Unai Emery suggested Xhaka shouldn't have reacted as he did.

On November 5, Arsenal confirmed Xhaka had been stripped of the armband and he didn't play again until the end of the month when the Gunners faced Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League – he had missed five games in all.

In the intervening period, Xhaka provided an explanation for his actions, detailing how months of abuse at matches and on social media had seen him reach "boiling point". He professed his love for the club and encouraged everyone to "move forward positively together".

Remarkably, that's what happened.

The redemption

It bears remembering, the atmosphere around Arsenal was toxic enough even without the Xhaka situation – December saw Emery replaced by Arteta, and the latter was unequivocal in his desire to keep Xhaka at the club.

A move to Hertha Berlin had been agreed, according to the player's agent, and that appeared to be the end. But, with the January 2020 transfer window only a day old, Arteta revealed Xhaka had assured him he was staying.

Six months later, Xhaka emphasised the importance of Arteta in that decision. He told BT Sport: "I was very, very close to leaving the club. I had, until this [Palace incident], had a great, great time in this football club. It was never in my mind to leave the club before, but after this happened, of course you think about it.

"When Mikel arrived, I had a very good meeting with him, very good conversations. Mikel was the guy. He turned me around and gave me a second chance, and he showed me he trusted me and I have tried to give him everything back."

Since then, he's steadily won back the faith of Arsenal fans and is arguably enjoying the finest spell of his Arsenal career. This season, he's already got two goals and three assists in eight Premier League games – only in 2018-19 (four) has he scored more goals in a single campaign for the Gunners, while only in 2017-18 has he provided more assists (seven).

So, to anyone wondering what's changed, the answer is fairly clear: Xhaka's playing a more advanced role and this is allowing his strengths – distribution, shooting – to shine. For much of his Arsenal career, he's been used as the deepest midfielder, but that's no longer the case with Thomas Partey the first choice in that role.

With more freedom to get forward, Xhaka's creating 2.2 chances from open play every 90 minutes (all comps.) – his previous best in that regard for Arsenal or Borussia Monchengladbach was 1.2. Granted, those were over full seasons, but that shouldn't detract from an obvious greater creative influence.

While he is making fewer tackles and interceptions than ever before, the fact only four midfielders have more than his five Premier League goal involvements this term suggests it's not a problematic sacrifice.

The Granit Xhaka most have known throughout his Premier League career was associated with work rate and destructive tendencies, but his current guise suggests he's not only enjoyed a redemption but a rebirth.

Arsenal are hugely impressed with William Saliba, but Mikel Arteta has stayed away from comparing the youngster to Virgil van Dijk.

Saliba has been fantastic for Arsenal this season, after finally getting his chance following loan spells at Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille.

The 21-year-old signed for Arsenal from Saint-Etienne back in 2019, but spent the next season back on loan at the French club.

However, Arteta did not call on the centre-back in the 2020-21 season, and Saliba subsequently left for Nice before spending last season on loan at Marseille.

This time around Arsenal kept hold of Saliba despite Marseille's interest and have been rewarded by some superb displays, with the France international starting all eight Premier League matches.

His form has seen him compared with Liverpool defender Van Dijk, though ahead of the meeting between the Gunners and the Reds, Arteta urged Saliba to "make his own career."

The Arsenal manager told reporters: "I think the way he has established himself, the composure and leadership that he's shown on the pitch – it's done in a very natural way without any flashlights, just being himself.

"Being very quiet but at the same time, very confident."

On the Van Dijk comparisons, Arteta said: "Wow, that's a big call. We're very happy with where he is at the moment.

"He's Saliba: he's no one else, and he needs to make his own career."

How do Saliba and Van Dijk stack up?

Arteta may have strayed away from comparing the players, but the data throws up some interesting head-to-head records.

While Van Dijk has struggled to hit his best form in an underperforming Liverpool team, Saliba has helped Arsenal keep three clean sheets this season, which ranks him joint-top in terms of defenders in the Premier League.

He has made 12 headed clearances, one more than Van Dijk, though both are way behind the league-leading defender in that regard (Joachim Andersen - 36). Saliba has also made 25 clearances to Van Dijk's 23.

Despite Van Dijk's struggles, he nevertheless boasts a better tackle success rate (60 per cent to 46.2) and duel success rate (72.1 to 56.3) than Saliba, while the Netherlands international has also won 25 of hs 32 aerial duels, compared to Saliba succeeding in eight of his 17.

Saliba's ability on the ball has also drawn comparisons to Van Dijk. He is able to find his team-mates with long passes, though Arteta's preferred style of play means Saliba has only attempted 32 long passes in the league.

An impressive 22 (69 per cent) of these have been successful, which betters the success rate managed by Van Dijk, who has landed 38 of his 69 long passes (55.1 per cent).

Mikel Arteta hopes his Arsenal team can match Arsene Wenger's expectations for this season, as the Gunners great believes his former side have "a good chance" to win the Premier League title.

Arsenal are top after eight matches of the season, a point ahead of champions Manchester City.

Arteta's men may well have been removed from the summit by the time they play again, though, facing Liverpool on Sunday after City play Southampton on Saturday.

Despite City's own imperious form, three-time title-winning manager Wenger told Sky Sports he did not see "any super dominating team", prompting his optimism for Arsenal to claim a first championship since his last success in the 2003-04 campaign.

Responding to Wenger's thoughts ahead of the Liverpool game, Arteta, who played under the Frenchman, said: "Well, it's great obviously that the people who love the club so much and know the club very well have such an opinion about it.

"Now, unfortunately, we have to show it, but you have to do it on the pitch. And hopefully, he's right. He's been right on many occasions."

Arsenal certainly look in better shape than opponents Liverpool, who enter the weekend down in ninth, 11 points off the pace with a game in hand.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has suggested the Reds are a work in progress, but Arteta responded: "Our team is as well.

"I think you always want to get better. You always hear about the weaknesses that you want to improve. Liverpool are a magnificent team."

Indeed, even with Liverpool struggling, Arteta sees this match as a major challenge for his side.

"Every game is the same [opportunity to make a statement]," he said. "Obviously, it's a big match.

"It's a fixture that everybody's looking for, against an opponent that has shown in the last five or six years the level that they have.

"And we have to show those opponents again that we have reached the level and we are ready to compete against them."

Everybody should be "optimistic" about the impact Darwin Nunez will make at Liverpool, according to Jurgen Klopp.

The Uruguayan striker has struggled in his first few months at Anfield following a big-money move from Benfica, having not scored since the opening day Premier League draw at Fulham.

Nunez made his first Champions League start for Liverpool in Tuesday's 2-0 home win against Rangers, but was unable to find the net after being denied several times by opposition goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Klopp is pleased that his forward is carving out opportunities though, and speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday's clash with Arsenal, expressed his confidence that the goals will follow.

"It was down to his movement and the movement of the boys around [him]," he said, referring to Nunez's multiple chances against Rangers.

"One of the things he showed so far in all the games he played is that he brings himself quite frequently in good finishing positions, which is the most important thing for a striker. That's why everybody should be, could be, very optimistic about what is coming from him in the future."

Liverpool head to the Emirates Stadium this weekend to take on the Premier League leaders, who already have an 11-point advantage over the Reds, though having played a game more.

Following their 3-0 Europa League win against Bodo/Glimt on Thursday, Arsenal have won nine of their opening 10 games in all competitions, just the third time they have done so in the club's history after 1903-04 and in 2007-08.

"All my respect, wow - really, really good job," Klopp said about Gunners' boss Mikel Arteta.

"When you need some time nobody wants to give you time. Maybe not all of us deserve time because you still have to be good and use the time, which Mikel obviously did. I have to say, lots of respect for it.

"They had a lot of talent already in the last few years, [Gabriel] Martinelli, I was very excited about him and he's become exactly the player I expected he would be.

"Martin Odegaard, I spoke to him when he was 15 from Norway when the whole world wanted him and he decided [to join] Real Madrid, but I remember as if it would have been yesterday - he sat at the table with his dad and we were all so excited [about his potential].

"He had a few difficult years, which is normal, and [now] he became the player everyone expected him to be. [Bukayo] Saka, I think from the first day since he's been playing it's incredible.

"The last line is really settled, they found a way how they want to defend. Last night they played a different line-up but still lots of quality, so they are a young team, very exciting team doing really well, and in the position they are, well deserved.

"But now we go there, we will try to cause them problems, I think that makes sense. I am looking forward to it."

One of Liverpool's main jobs on Sunday will be to stop the in-form Gabriel Jesus. The former Manchester City striker has scored five goals in eight Premier League games this season.

"I always liked him as a player. I know City wouldn't have sold him to every club. Exceptional player, you always saw that when he played for City. The Gabriel Jesus role at City, as a nine,a winger - was it last year when everyone said City has no number nine (laughs)?

"He's flying at the moment, full of confidence. That's what confidence does to top-class players, if you are not playing against them it is easy to enjoy what he is doing.

"But now [they are] our opponent for the weekend so we have to make sure that he will stop flying for a weekend."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta felt his team "lacked consistency and domination" despite cruising to a 3-0 victory over Bodo/Glimt to move top of their Europa League group.

Eddie Nketiah and Rob Holding struck in the first half before Fabio Vieira added a late finish to end a run of three consecutive home games in European competition without victory for Arsenal.

The Gunners are now two points clear of second-placed PSV at the top of Group A, while also leading the Premier League after a brilliant start which has seen them win nine out of their first 10 games in all competitions for just the third time in club history.

However, Arteta had mixed feelings over his team's performance against Bodo, telling BT Sport: "I'm really happy with the win, six points and a clean sheet.

"But we lacked connection between the players, we lacked consistency and domination through the game.

"There were eight changes and a lot of players that haven't played a lot of minutes, and you could feel that, the timing was missing.

"In the final third we looked very dangerous, the goals we scored were good goals."

Bodo started the second half brightly and Arteta reacted by making a number of substitutions, bringing on the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus, the latter of whom provided a brilliant assist for Vieira.

Arteta explained the alterations were necessary due to some of the starters' fitness, saying: "A few players, you could see they had a different intensity, not enough exposure in terms of minutes, so we had to make changes."

Mikel Arteta insisted Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus can play in the same Arsenal team but said he cannot make promises about anyone's first-team opportunities.

The 23-year-old Nketiah, who had been tipped to leave the Gunners last term amid frustration over a reduced role, ultimately signed a new deal after a strong finish to the 2021-22 campaign.

But the arrival of Jesus from Manchester City has pushed the striker back down the pecking order, keeping his chances at a premium amid the Brazilian's rich form.

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt, Arteta spoke of Nketiah's current status, and mulled whether both the Englishman and Jesus could combine, stressing he does not take his decisions lightly.

"I know with Eddie, I am sure he wants to play every single minute of every competition," Arteta said. "Gabi's been playing, and he's been phenomenal.

"I think they can play together. We'd have to change one or two things in the team structure. But he has participated in most of the games in the league, and he has played in Europe.

"I cannot promise anybody. What he gives us is his best, whether it is five minutes or 90 minutes."

Arteta also touched on the future of Reiss Nelson and William Saliba, declaring there is a place for the former with his contract set to expire while admitting "damage" in his relationship with the latter over his loan time away.

"A hundred percent," the Spaniard said on whether winger Nelson could earn a renewed deal. "That's why he's here, because we wanted to have that opportunity with him.

"It is down to him to show it on the pitch. He's out there showing it every day, how he's working. He is changing and improving. He's on the right track [but] now he needs to perform."

As for centre-back Saliba, Arteta said: "I was really impressed and surprised when I spoke to him."

Now 21, Saliba has had loans with his former club Saint-Etienne, plus Nice and Marseille, before being given his chance with Arsenal this season.

There has been frustration from Saliba over how long it has taken to start his Gunners career in earnest, after first signing in 2019, and Arteta said: "Obviously, the way the relationship has started, there was a bit of damage there.

"But he was so committed and focused to play for Arsenal, I think it took me a bit by surprise. How he talks about the club, and how much he wants to be here, I have no doubt that he wants to continue."

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