Arsenal won its fifth straight Premier League game on Saturday, beating Watford 2-0 with two late goals at the Emirates Stadium.
Unai Emery’s team survived a number of scares and an injury to goalkeeper Petr Cech before securing the points late on.
An 81st-minute Craig Cathcart own-goal saw the hosts go ahead before Mesut Ozil tucked home just two minutes later to secure the points.
Aaron Ramsey started for the Gunners despite news breaking earlier in the week that negotiations over a new deal had collapsed.
Alexandre Lacazette wanted an early Arsenal penalty with referee Anthony Taylor unmoved and minutes later the forward spurned a golden opportunity, beating Cathcart to the ball but then sending a deft chip wide of Ben Foster’s goal.
Cech injured himself on the stroke of halftime, pulling up after taking a goal-kick and being replaced by Bernd Leno — the summer signing making his Premier League debut.
The German goalkeeper had an instant impact, getting down low to tip Troy Deeney’s effort wide following a set-piece from the visitors.
Arsenal looked wasteful in front of goal.
Lucas Torreira, booked in the first half for a late challenge on Deeney, played in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang whose cross was headed wide by Lacazette.
For Watford, Roberto Pereyra attempted a finish from an acute angle but sent it wide after Leno had done well to race off his line and stop Andre Gray’s effort.
Arsenal was fortunate to take the lead as Cathcart turned Alex Iwobi’s cross past Foster at his near-post while trying to prevent Lacazette scoring.
The second goal followed soon after as Ozil, moved into the center after the ineffectual Ramsey had been substituted, tucked home from Lacazette’s assist.
Resurgent Arsenal has 15 points from seven games and is two points ahead of Watford