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Gunners walk all over sorry Magpies

ON THE BALL: Özil takes on Newcastle (PA)

ARSENAL COMFORTABLY saw off Newcastle United at the Emirates stadium on Monday evening courtesy of goals from Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud.

Prior to their visit to north London, the visitors hadn't won their previous five Premiership fixtures, and in this form the Gunners were only too happy to inflict loss number six on Alan Pardew's men. The win leaves daylight and a four-point gap between Arsenal - and their quest for an 18th consecutive Champions League place - and fifth placed Everton with both sides having played thirty six games.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was pleased with the manner of his sides victory, and having almost secured Champions League football next season. He said: "One more win will be top four for sure. It will show that the club has been consistent over the years, but we want more.

"Overall this season I think we have been 17 times top of the league, but at the crucial period of the season we have lost many players.

"We have got to the FA Cup final having played against Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and in the Champions League we went out against Bayern with 10 men. We have shown we have potential, but we want more next season and hopefully we can do it. But first let's finish this season."

Boosted by his first home league game since February's goalless draw with Manchester United, Özil seems to have found the kind of form which saw the Arsenal faithful get excited by the summer arrival of the German.

Linked to the energetic drive of Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal are a transformed side and one continues to wonder what could have happened had these two key Arsenal players been available throughout the season.

As if in the mood to make up for lost time, Arsenal started very much as if they meant business. Mike Williamson's last gasp tackle on Giroud after some swift link up play with Ramsey denied the Gunners the opener after 16 minutes, and Colocini's diving header cleared the danger from Bacary Sagna's cross a minute later. From the resultant corner, Tim Krul punched the ball away, which Özil saw early to connect and let fly with a shot which went just wide of Krull's upright.

The visitors responded through Moussa Sissoko who worked an opening but placed his shot high and wide of Wojciech Szczesny's goal.

Sissoko's next contribution would cost his side dearly. Giroud's burst was impeded and Sissoko was shown a yellow card. From the resultant free kick Cazorla floated the ball into the danger zone, and as Krul stood firm, Koscielny stole in to get his boot on the ball for the opener.

Arsenal saw a further two chances fall to Podolski in 27th minute and then four minutes later. Krul punched away his header then saw the German's shot go across the line without any touch in from an Arsenal player.

With their lively inventive football, Mikel Arteta, Cazorla, Özil and Ramsey were commanding proceedings from midfield. Newcastle's defence were being stretched and Williamson was lucky to escape sanction when he appeared to impede Giroud from Sagna's cross.

Still trying to stay in the game, the visitors saw Mathieu Debuchy hold off Nacho Monreal but then fired wide of the target. However it was the Gunners who would double their advantage before the break. Podolski and Giroud had gone close, but it was Özil who struck three minutes before half time.

Deep from his own half, Arteta guided a precision pass to Giroud. The France striker hit his shot low and hard, but Krul saved. Giroud followed up with the rebound but again was denied by Krul. This time however, the ball had found its way to Özil to smash home from close range.

That effectively saw the match over as a contest with the visiting supporters directing their anger towards the Magpies' board and manager Alan Pardew. Yoan Gouffran looked lively and tried to force a goal for the visitors when he beat the offside trap, but Szczesny saved well as the side having scored the fewest goals in 2014 (10) failed to find any real attacking rhythm.

Arsenal's third goal was created by the imaginative Ramsey. His reverse pass found Ozil deep on the left. The German instinctively ran forward to cross and pick out Giroud to comfortably head in past Krul.

Krul denied the Gunners a fourth goal when Monreal had a blast from Arteta's pass as Arsenal maintained their unbeaten record against the Magpies.

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