Arsenal ended "Grand Slam Sunday" at the top of the English Premier League after a 1-0 win at home to London rivals Chelsea.
Victory saw the Gunners maintain their one-point lead over second-placed Manchester United, who had earlier briefly gone top following a 1-0 success away to Liverpool in the first of Sunday's clashes involving English soccer's "Big Four."
Former Chelsea defender William Gallas headed Arsenal in front just before half-time after Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech completely misjudged the flight of a Cesc Fabregas corner at the Emirates Stadium.
"We have shown great mental strength and bounced back after our [2-1] loss at Middlesbrough," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports. "We have shown we are resilient and ready to fight for every ball."
Gallas moved from Chelsea to Arsenal last year and Wenger admitted he had now emerged as a true leader of the side.
"He pops up and he does it. He scored the late goal against Manchester United and he did it again today. This is a very special club and it can take some months to settle in here and feel part of it but he has now emerged as a true leader. He leads by example."
Reflecting on the title race, Wenger said: "There's nothing decisive but Liverpool have lost many points at home this season. But they are still in it, Chelsea as well."
"We saw today Chelsea have the strength to fight for the championship but at the moment the most consistent teams are Manchester United and Arsenal," he said.
Beaten Chelsea manager Avram Grant said: "I think we deserved at least a draw. The players showed good spirit."
By the time Gallas had scored, Chelsea captain John Terry had gone off with a foot injury after clashing with Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboue, who was himself carried off on a stretcher with 20 minutes left.
Grant though said Terry had not broken a bone in his foot.
"He hasn't broken anything but we will wait until tomorrow [Monday] to see how the ligament is," the Chelsea boss said.
Shaun Wright-Phillips then missed a superb chance to draw Chelsea level in the 75th minute and seconds later Arsenal substitute Robin van Persie was equally wasteful, the Dutch international blasting over the top.
A fiery match saw referee Alan Wiley book 10 players, five from each side.
At Anfield, Carlos Tevez scored the winning goal for United two minutes before half-time when the Argentina forward, unmarked inside the six-yard box, turned in fellow striker Wayne Rooney's cross-shot.
Defeat left Liverpool, who have a game in hand over their title rivals, nine points adrift of Arsenal.
Liverpool were left in fifth spot after Manchester City moved up into fourth with a 4-2 win at home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
"It's a marvellous day for us, a good result and a good team performance," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. "We had to show discipline but I thought, in terms of playing football, we were the better team."
"It's going to be a long struggle throughout the season," he said. "But I've always said if we get to the end of December top or just about there, then we've an outstanding chance of retaining the title."
"We had our chances and didn't take them," Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said. "They had just one, and that was the difference."
"We knew we needed to win this game if we wanted to be closer. There is a long way, we just have to keep going," the Spaniard said.
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