Arsenal maintained their push to secure Champions League football as they beat Leicester City to earn a fifth successive Premier League win.
The deserved victory at Emirates Stadium lifted Arsenal back into fourth place, one point above Manchester United, who beat fellow top-four contenders Tottenham on Saturday.
Thomas Partey headed in unchallenged from Gabriel Martinelli’s corner after 11 minutes as the hosts capitalised on their dominant start.
Partey also struck the crossbar as Arsenal pressed for a second, while goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was twice called upon to deny Harvey Barnes – including a superb reaction save from a header – as the visitors threatened before half-time.
But, after Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu was penalised for handball following a lengthy video assistant referee review, Alexandre Lacazette fired in a 59th-minute penalty to put the Gunners in control.
Soyuncu received only a yellow card as Partey’s still goal-bound header was cleared off the line by the alert Luke Thomas.
However, there was to be no way back for Brendan Rodgers’s side, who remain 12th in the table.
Seeking to end a five-year absence from Europe’s elite club competition, Arsenal ensured they remain in pole position in the race to qualify with a ninth win in 11 league games.
With three games in hand over fifth-placed United from which to further strengthen their position, Mikel Arteta’s men – unlike their immediate rivals – have achieved consistency in both performances and results to emerge as favourites for fourth.