Manager Mikel Arteta challenged his Arsenal players to maintain their mindset following the international break after they beat Crystal Palace to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners have won six consecutive league games as they aim to become champions for the first time since 2003-04.

They have 10 matches left, including clashes with Liverpool, second-placed Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle. Their next game is against Leeds at home on 1 April.

“We can control our games. We have won six games in a row in the league, which is great,” said Arteta.

“It feels very good, especially with the way we have played and the results we have picked up.

“Now we must stop and make sure everyone comes back from the internationals with the same mindset. We have Leeds next and we put the focus there.”

Arsenal ‘desire’ delights Arteta as they punish Palace

Arsenal have 69 points from 28 matches, with second-placed Manchester City, who beat Burnley 6-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, on 61 points having played a game less.

The Gunners went ahead at Emirates Stadium through Gabriel Martinelli’s left-footed strike – his sixth goal in six league matches.

Bukayo Saka doubled the lead when he collected Ben White’s pass and curled an effort past 19-year-old goalkeeper Joe Whitworth.

Granit Xhaka made it 3-0 with a first-time finish from Leandro Trossard’s assist, before Jeffrey Schlupp pulled one back from close range following a corner for Palace’s first goal in five matches

But the excellent Saka restored Arsenal’s three-goal advantage with a guided finish from Kiernan Tierney’s pull-back to seal the victory.

Palace sacked manager Patrick Vieira on Friday and have now not won in 13 games in all competitions and are only three points above the relegation zone.

Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League suffered a dent as Southampton earned a last-gasp 3-3 home draw with a James Ward-Prowse penalty that would have been cheered in Newcastle on Saturday.

Antonio Conte’s side looked set to move into third place as goals by Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic put them 3-1 ahead with around 15 minutes of normal time left on the clock.

But bottom club Southampton battled back to salvage a point in their quest to beat the drop — a comeback that led to Tottenham manager Antonio Conte accusing his player of being selfish and lacking team spirit.

A big day at the foot of the table saw Leeds United move out of the relegation zone with a 4-2 victory at fellow-strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers while second-from-bottom Bournemouth came down to earth after last week’s defeat of Liverpool as they went down 3-0 at Aston Villa.

Leicester City snapped a run of four consecutive league defeats to draw 1-1 at Brentford while Everton equalised late on to grab a 2-2 draw away to Chelsea in the late kickoff.

Tottenham’s failure to win at bottom club Southampton may prove the final straw in the Conte era.

Without playing that well they were in control thanks to Kane and Perisic but allowed Theo Walcott to score his first goal for two years to make it 3-2.

Tottenham substitute Pape Sarr was then adjudged in the 90th minute to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles as he attempted to hack clear a bouncing ball and Ward-Prowse made no mistake to earn his side a point.

“I see selfish players, I see players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart,” Conte said.

Leeds will head into the international break above the relegation zone thanks to a superb display at Wolves.

Jack Harrison smashed home the opener for Leeds from near the penalty spot in the sixth minute and Luke Ayling doubled the lead from a corner early in the second half.

Leeds substitute Rasmus Kristensen made it 3-0 before the hour mark but Wolves hit back with goals by Jonny and Matheus Cunha before Jonny was red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Ayling. Rodrigo chipped Wolves keeper Jose Sa to seal the points and Wolves were handed another red card when unused substitute Matheus Nunes was dismissed for arguing.

Harvey Barnes netted a superb second-half equaliser to earn Leicester their point at Brentford who had Shandon Baptiste sent off in the closing stages.

Brentford, dreaming of a European qualification spot, had gone ahead in the 32nd minute through Danish midfielder Mathias Jensen’s deflected drive.

Chelsea were on course for their third successive league win thanks to goals by Joao Felix and Kai Havertz’s penalty after Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure had equalised.

But an 89th-minute strike from substitute Ellis Simms sealed a crucial point for Sean Dyche’s team to leave Chelsea in 10th place in the table.

“A very, very clear and bloody-minded performance and I’m pleased with that,” Dyche said.

Newcastle’s Alexander Isak scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Nottingham Forest from the penalty spot to keep their hopes of a top-four finish firmly alive.

Isak, who had earlier cancelled out Emmanuel Dennis’ opener in the first half, coolly placed his spot-kick into the right corner after Moussa Niakhate was penalised for handball in the box.

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