Arsenal's controlled 1-0 win at London rivals Chelsea on Sunday offered the strongest evidence this season that the Gunners can finally challenge again for the title that has eluded them for nearly 20 years.
Arsenal players and fans celebrated loudly after the match at Stamford Bridge, knowing the three points not only took them back above Manchester City at the top of the table but also confirmed they can hurt the Premier League's heavyweights.
The north Londoners claimed the only goal of the game - when defender Gabriel stabbed home after a corner eluded a string of Chelsea players - but the narrow victory margin masked their superiority over the 90 minutes.
The Gunners' only league defeat of the campaign was in September away to one of England's traditional top six clubs, Manchester United, drawing criticism that their strong start to the season was based on wins against lesser opposition.
Although they have beaten local rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool since then, both those wins were at home, adding to the sense that Sunday's victory in West London was a milestone in their season.
Arsenal now have 34 points after 13 games - the most they have racked up at this stage of the season since the Premier League was launched - and are two points ahead of second-placed Manchester City.