Arsenal are one point above fifth-placed West Ham after a second successive victory eased the drama surrounding Mikel Arteta’s decision to strip Gabon forward Aubameyang of the club captaincy.
Arteta’s side are in the top four at this stage of a season for the first time in two-and-a-half years.
It is a remarkable reversal of fortune after Arsenal lost their opening three league games for the first time in 67 years.
Calls for Arteta to be sacked were widespread after an embarrassing 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City in August, but the Spaniard has steadied the ship impressively.
Aubameyang was absent from the squad after being removed from the captaincy due to a disciplinary breach on Tuesday.
He returned late and missed training last week after travelling to France to see his ill mother.
It was not Aubameyang’s first transgression, having previously been dropped for the north London derby against Tottenham in March after what was described as a breach of the club’s pre-match protocol.
Aubameyang has also performed poorly since signing a lucrative new contract in September 2020.