Arsene Wenger has warned Tottenham that Arsenal are ready to fight for Champions League qualification this season.
The Gunners remain four points behind their fourth-placed north London rivals after managing to grind out a 1-0 win away to Sunderland with 10 men, after Carl Jenkinson was dismissed for a second yellow card just after the hour-mark.
Tottenham's 2-1 win at home to Newcastle on Saturday means that their unbeaten run has stretched to 10 games, but Wenger knows better than most that anything can happen in the final third of the season.
"There are many games to go," the Arsenal boss the club's official website. "We are in the fight and the game on Saturday showed that we are ready for a fight."
At this point last season, Tottenham held a 10-point lead over their neighbours, but a poor run of form that started with a 5-2 defeat in the north London derby saw them slip off the pace, gifting Arsenal with Champions League qualification for the 15th consecutive season.
With 13 games left to play, including the derby at White Hart Lane on March 3, Wenger knows that his side can recreate last season's last-minute push once again if they show the fight that they did at the Stadium of Light.
"Our character was questioned many times," Wenger added. "You saw [on Saturday] that we have plenty.
"I liked the last 20 minutes when we were pushed back. We headed every single ball. We tried like mad and that's fantastic to see.
"Sometimes you just have to dig in and some players played in uncomfortable positions. When we have the desire to win, it helps a lot."