A sublime display from Mesut Ozil was the key for Arsenal as they overcame Bournemouth 2-0, assuring the top spot in the Premier League for at least 24 hours.
Arsene Wenger's side had passed up the chance to claim top spot when Southampton thrashed them 4-0 on Saturday and they were tentative during the early exchanges this time around at Emirates Stadium.
But recalled centre-back Gabriel scored his first Arsenal goal to settle the nerves after 27 minutes.
That came from an Ozil corner, the playmaker's 16th assist in the Premier League this term, and he soon took his club goal tally to five for the season as well with a wonderfully taken second after the hour.
The home side could not add further gloss to a scoreline that ended Bournemouth’s impressive six-match unbeaten run but, unless Leicester City beat Manchester City on Tuesday night, Arsenal will lead the way at the mid point of a thrillingly unpredictable title race.
There was also reason to celebrate for Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, as the 2-0 scoreline ensured him of a record-breaking 170th Premier League clean sheet - taking the landmark outright from David James.
Wenger made four changes to the side beaten heavily at Southampton as Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain earned starts.
Josh King returned from a hamstring injury to lead the Bournemouth attack, while Marc Pugh was preferred to Junior Stanislas on the left.
Eddie Howe's team made a confident start, with Charlie Daniels' low cross scrambled out of the Arsenal goalmouth and Gabriel blocking a volley from Harry Arter.
Arsenal struggled for clear sights of goal - Theo Walcott failing to make a good connection with Ozil’s chipped pass - until Bournemouth gifted them the opener.
Goalkeeper Artur Boruc remained rooted to his line and Gabriel charged unmarked on to an in-swinging Ozil corner to head home.