Kai Havertz’s 89th-minute goal fired Arsenal to the top of the Premier League on Saturday after a 1-0 win at Brentford.
Mikel Arteta’s team looked set to miss out on the opportunity to move into first place after Manchester City and Liverpool drew 1-1 earlier in the day.
But Havertz came up with a decisive header to score his first goal from open play for Arsenal since joining from Chelsea in the offseason.
“When you have an opportunity to take a bite out of everybody you have to do it,” said Arteta, who was taking charge of his 200th game as Arsenal manager.
Havertz’s only other goal for Arsenal came from the penalty spot against Bournemouth in September. His strike at Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday was crucial as the Gunners moved a point ahead of defending champion City.
Meeting Bukayo Saka’s cross at the far post, Havertz headed between the legs of Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
“These late winners are nice, and then to celebrate in front of the fans it was a good feeling for sure,” Havertz said. “The cross was amazing and I thought maybe why not do this run and the ball was perfect and I scored.”
Arsenal’s players were celebrating earlier when Leandro Trossard thought he had opened the scoring, but the goal was ruled offside after a VAR review.
Arsenal led the table for 248 days last season but eventually fell away as City claimed its third title in a row.
Arteta is hoping to go one better this time around.
“I love winning and we are top of the table and this is where we have to want to be,” he said.
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