Arsene Wenger admitted he never thought Arsenal would be seven points clear at the top of the Premier League heading into December.
The Gunners turned up the heat on their title rivals with a convincing 3-0 victory at Cardiff, courtesy of former City star Aaron Ramsey.
The Welshman bagged a brace — his 14th and 15th goals for club and country this season — either side of a rare strike by Mathieu Flamini, who came off the bench to score following his row with Wenger on Tuesday, when he cut the sleeves off his Arsenal shirt.
And with the big four of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester duo City and United all playing on Sunday, Wenger can relax following a job well done.
Asked if he could quite believe the lofty position Arsenal are in, manager Wenger said: ‘No, I wouldn’t have believed it. Remember we lost the first game at home to Aston Villa and no one could imagine the situation today (Saturday).
Yet Wenger claims there is more development to come from 22-year-old Ramsey, who enhanced his status as the best player in the top flight this season.
Wenger, who signed Ramsey for just £4.8million from Cardiff in 2008, added: ‘Aaron keeps surprising me. He has matured as a player and a person as well. We came here in the cup a few years ago and he had a very difficult game. Now he shows how much he has developed as a person.
‘I was a midfielder and I would have loved to have what he has. He can defend, attack and score goals. You want more. He’s young — another quality that I lost as well.
'He can still develop. When you see the development in him in the last two years then why should he stop now? There’s more to come. If he continues to play like that then he will have a future with Wales.
Ramsey received a rapturous welcome on his return to the Welsh capital which got the thumbs up by both managers.
Both of his efforts were rewarded with applause from the home supporters rather than jeers — like Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs got in these parts a week ago — and Wenger and Malky Mackay were generous in their praise for the respect shown by the Cardiff faithful.
Mackay added: ‘Our fans are a class act. They are very passionate football people, but he was one of their own.