After City were shocked at home by Brentford in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday, the Gunners took advantage by beating Wolves 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Now, Arsenal must seize this moment and strengthen their squad in the January transfer window to ensure they can sustain their title challenge.
January could be a defining month for Arsenal, both on and off the field.
They face big games against Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United, while the club has the chance to back Arteta with the reinforcements he needs.
Adding more strength in depth feels vital for Arsenal if they are to stay the pace in the title race.
There is little doubt their starting XI could push City all the way, but the prospect of keeping their first-choice team fit for the rest of the season is unlikely.
This is the busiest season ever, and eight of Arsenal’s starting XI from Saturday’s win at Molineux are going to the World Cup.
Squad depth is where City have a clear edge over Arsenal, which is unsurprising given the level of investment at the Etihad Stadium over the past decade.
“You cannot compare one club with another that started a project 10 years ago,” said Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus after the Wolves win. “Now they are winning because 10, 15 years ago they start something. Arsenal started two, three years ago.”
Arsenal are indeed behind City in their project, but January provides them with the chance to close the gap and strengthen their title charge.
The club wants to back Arteta, who has described his squad as “short”, and a winger is their priority, with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk and Orlando City’s Facundo Torres both targets.
Longer term, Arsenal also want to sign a left-sided centre-back and another midfielder. Given their position now, though, there is an argument to accelerate those plans and add to the squad from a position of strength.
A winger is vital, as Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli need more competition, not least because they will be returning to action from the World Cup.
Arsenal should have Emile Smith Rowe back from injury by then, but they need more firepower anyway.
Greater depth is needed in the spine of the team, too, which is where the biggest drop-off in talent appears to be from first-choice to back-ups.
Arsenal look like contenders now, but their chances would be severely impacted if Thomas Partey or one of their centre-backs, Gabriel and William Saliba, were injured.
Arsenal can address that in January and the argument to act now is compelling, given not only the club’s position but also the struggles of others.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs all look flawed and it feels like an opportune moment for Arsenal to strike.
Saturday’s win suggested Arsenal have the appetite for the fight as they ground out a win, thanks to two goals from Martin Odegaard despite illness in the squad.
Arteta’s side were not at their best but found a way to win, so often the hallmark of champions.
January could tell us whether they can maintain that push.