Arsenal 4 Newcastle United 0
Aubameyang 54, Pepe 57,  Ozil 90,  Lacazette 95

Arsenal thrashed Newcastle United with four unanswered second half goals to earn their second Premier League win since Mikel Arteta took over in December. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the goal fest on 54 minutes with Nicolas Pepe doubling the lead three minutes later. Newcastle who had threatened in a lively opening half hour when Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and on loan Valentino Lazaro created chances, but couldn’t deliver the end product.

Mikel Arteta accepted it was very pleasing to finally get another Premier League win following a succession of draws.

“Yes, it was. We talked about turning those draws into wins and those margins that we could improve to translate that into more points. It was going to be very important in the first game at home after the break to get confidence like we’ve done today, so I’m very happy with that.”

Still working on many things, the former Arsenal player acknowledged how difficult Newcastle made it for his side.

“We found it difficult in the first 20 or 30 minutes I would say. They’re really compact and really organised, and we talked before the game that you can get a little bit frustrated and start to rush the decisions, and when that happens your team doesn’t travel together and it becomes a transition game.”

Once Arsenal had a two goal advantage, they punished Newcastle further deep into the second half when Mesut Ozil started and finished the move to make it 3-0. Substitute Alexandre Lacazette added further gloss to the scoreline with his first Premier League goal since early December to round off a comprehensive rout of Steve Bruce’s side.

The opening exchanges suggested that Newcastle would prove to be their obdurate and threatening of late and so it proved. Saint Maximin and Lazaro were cause for early concern with problems down the Gunners’ left. Lazaro is on loan from Inter Milan, and Arsenal had to get to grips with the Austrian, unfairly so with Xhaka shown a yellow card for holding as he threatened another break from deep.

It was from a Lazaro corner, that Sean Longstaff struck a long range shot which came off Dani Ceballos, leading Bernd Leno to have to save low to his left. The visitors kept up the pressure as Joelinton stuck just wide from Saint-Maximin’s cross from the left.

Arsenal were having to work hard to keep the Magpies at bay. Their first threat on Martin Dubravka’s goal came on the quarter hour mark when Bukayo Saka received Granit Xhaka’s return  to curl just over the target.

Playing deeper than he is accustomed to,Ozil and Ceballos started to link up. Ozil played in Aubameyang, but Dubravka managed to gather his shot. The Gunners’ momentum continued, Ozil teed up Nketiah, however Dubravka gathered again. The Slovakian was alert again when Aubameyang unleashed from thirty yards.Pepe’s free kick  awarded when Saint-Maxim caught Ceballos was tipped over and Shkodran Mustafi’s goal bound effort was cleared by Joelinton as Arsenal finished the half strongly.

Eddie Nketiah was preferred ahead of Lacazette, and he should have opened the scoring five minutes after the re-start, but skied his shot after some good work from Pepe. With their next move, Arsenal took the lead. Once again it originated from Pepe’s threat from the right. He hung up a cross for Aubameyang to peel off his marker and head in for the game’s opener after 54 minutes. A mere three minutes had elapsed and the Gunners were two goals to the good. Saka burst past Nabil Bentaleb and Lazaro  to pick out Pepe for Arsenal’s record signing to sweep home to make it 2-0.

Newcastle still had fight in them, and Ciaran Clark was unlucky to see his goal bound effort clip David Luiz’s boot for a corner. When Ceballos was caught deep in his own half, Saint Maximin should have made Arsenal pay, but saw his low shot come back off Leno’s upright. Lacazette replaced Nketiah with five minutes to go.

Deep into the second half, Ozil, now free of defensive shackles, burst through to find Pepe on the right. He found Lacazette who couldn’t shoot but managed to cross back for Ozil. Dubravka fluffed his tame effort and Arsenal were now 3-0 to the good.

With six minutes of time added on, there was still time for an Arsenal fourth. Substitute Joe Willock slipped in Pepe. He crossed for Lacazette to sweep home to make it 4-0 to the Arsenal and a rewarding return for Arteta’s side after the winter break.

Arteta praised Aubameyang his top striker after he scored his 14th Premier League goal and his return to scoring following his red card at Selhurst Park.

“I think the fact that he was three games out with a ban and missed three weeks and that rhythm in this competition is tough. You don’t just click like this and in training you cannot replicate a game scenarios, it’s completely impossible and the demands that physically you have to put out here. He’s been training really hard in Dubai, he looked sharp and today, what a really good performance again.”

Arsenal next travel to Olympiakos for their Europa League first leg clash in Athens on Thursday.