Arsenal prove Paul Merson right in 45 minutes against Tottenham in North London Derby

Kai Havertz of Arsenal celebrates scoring their teams third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Arsenal icon Paul Merson believes the North London Derby with Tottenham is not the most difficult game of the season remaining for Mikel Arteta's team.

The match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has come at an intriguing time for both teams, with Arsenal full of confidence from their 5-0 humbling over Chelsea earlier this week. Whereas Spurs had not been in action for a fortnight after the defeat to Newcastle United.

With Manchester City set to play Nottingham Forest, the Gunners can't afford to many mistakes in the final weeks of the title race. City will head to the City Ground with Forest looking to battle away from the relegation zone.

Arsenal went into half-time three goals to the good after Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka found the net following Pierre-Emile Højbjerg's own goal. It meant that, with 45 minutes at least, the Gunners were proving Merson's pre-match claim right.

Merson had said before kick-off that Arsenal's match against Manchester United will be their toughest left this season, highlighting the Gunners' record at Old Trafford. He told Sky Sports: "No (the Spurs game is not Arsenal's most difficult), I think Man United. Man United still - they just turn up against Arsenal, I don’t know what it is.

"You have to ask them. Arsenal never very rarely go up there and do well, so for me I think that is their hardest game. The name of the game is just playing at the right time, and they’re gonna put severe pressure on Manchester City today if they can win this game."

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With three weeks left until the season concludes, Arteta is determined to lead his team to their first Premier League title in 20 years. He said: "We can look from every angle, every stat, we deserve to be where we are and we've done it for nine months and we can do it for the last three weeks.

"It's on us and we're gonna make sure we can do everything that we can."

The Gunners boss revealed his players are not fatigued despite the intensity of the run-in. "When you are fighting for what we are fighting for there is no room for [tiredness]," Arteta added.

"I think if I ask any player, 'do you want to play?', they will be knocking on my door."