LONDON: Arsenal shrugged off the injury absence of Gabriel Jesus to beat West Ham 3-1 and move seven points clear at the top as the Premier League returned after the World Cup.
The Gunners were the only home winners in eight matches.
West Ham took the lead against the run of play when Jarrod Bowen was judged to have been clipped in the box by William Saliba, allowing Said Benrahma to smash a confident penalty down the middle.
There was a mood of frustration among the home fans until Bukayo Saka converted from close range after collecting Martin Odegaard’s mis-hit shot.
The equaliser gave increased impetus to the Gunners and another home goal looked increasingly likely.
Five minutes later, it duly arrived. Gabriel Martinelli put the hosts ahead, catching out West Ham’s former Gunners keeper Lukasz Fabianski by tucking inside the near post from a tight angle when he looked more likely to cross.
The points were sealed when Eddie Nketiah – starting in place of the injured Gabriel Jesus – spun sharply in the box before firing into the opposite bottom corner.
Arsenal extended their lead at the top over Newcastle, who moved second by beating Leicester earlier on Monday.
Reigning champions Manchester City – who go to Leeds United on Wednesday – are now eight points behind the Gunners.
West Ham are 16th and just a point above the relegation zone after their fourth league defeat in a row.