BUKAYO SAKA saluted Arsenal’s seven-point lead at the top as “amazing”.

The Gunners star set Mikel Arteta’s men on their way with a second-minute opener in their thumping win at Brighton.

Bukayo Saka helped fire Arsenal seven points clear at the top of the Prem

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Bukayo Saka helped fire Arsenal seven points clear at the top of the PremCredit: Getty

Arsenal capitalised on Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Everton hours earlier to increase their advantage at the summit.

And winger Saka admitted: “A seven-point lead sounds amazing. If you’d offered us this at the start of the season, we would have bitten your hand off.

“There was a big emphasis on getting a quick start, as we know how hard it is to come here, and that early goal set us up nicely.

“We have put ourselves in a great place but we are not focused on that now as we have to play Newcastle next and we know how well they have been playing.”

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Saka, captain Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli’s goals ensured Arsenal enter 2023 clear of the chasing pack.

But boss Arteta insists the best is still to come from his side — chasing a first Prem title since the 2003-04 Invincibles.

He said: “My excitement does not come from our lead, but from the fact when I got in the dressing room after the game the players were talking about what they should have done better.

“That means they know we can still play better — and against Newcastle on Tuesday we will have to be better.

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“But tonight I am really happy. It’s a big win. You can see there is a good understanding and we are scoring really important goals.

“All the players were aware of the results of the other teams before we kicked off.

“We discussed before the game that there would be moments when we were going to suffer.

“There were times when we put ourselves in some trouble but that’s part of the learning process.

“I have been in this league for 20 years and know how quickly the momentum shifts. When that happens, it’s very difficult to stop it.

“But you don’t come to a place like Brighton with this team and get a comfortable game.”

City’s surprise draw at home to Everton opened the door for the Gunners and there was never any doubt they would take full advantage at the Amex.

Saka celebrates with Gabriel Martinelli during the 4-2 win over Brighton

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Saka celebrates with Gabriel Martinelli during the 4-2 win over BrightonCredit: Getty

Yet Odegaard claimed: “We don’t care about the other teams. Three points was just everything today and we did it.

“Maybe we need to control the game a bit better, we let Brighton in a couple of times but they are a good team.

“But I am very happy to help the team with goals and assists again.

“For our fourth, I saw space in behind Martinelli and it’s not easy to stop him in that position.”

Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “It was a strange game, a strange result and strange the way they scored.

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“Arsenal are a great team with fantastic players and a fantastic coach. It could be their year.

“But I am really happy with my players. They were brave and only the result makes me sad.”



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