Unai Emery believes Arsenal’s surprise ascent to third place is down to consistency.
Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 on Monday to go third in the Premier League table for the first time since February 2017.
The Gunners have been in the hunt for Champions League qualification throughout the season after the opening defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea.
They have now won six of their last eight games in all competitions and seven of their last nine in the Premier League to open up a two-point gap on Tottenham in fourth and Manchester United in fifth.
Emery feels playing their direct rivals has brought out the best in his side.
“We were playing some key matches, against Manchester United, against Tottenham, against Chelsea,” he said.
“And we had these opportunities and we won. We drew against Tottenham, but we were being consistent in winning more matches to be closer to them. Now is the consequence.
“Today, being consistent and also taking a big performance. But with big spirit, I think we did that.
“Today, for me, is an important victory and it’s important to take this confidence and this position on the table.
“But I know Sunday is a big challenge and a very good challenge because each match is so hard in the Premier League.”