Alexandre Lacazette scored for the first time since December to put the gloss on a much-needed 4-0 win for Arsenal and head coach Mikel Arteta against Newcastle United on Sunday.
Arsenal came into the clash at Emirates Stadium level on points with visitors Newcastle, having won just six times in the Premier League this season – and only once since Arteta’s December appointment.
But after a frustrating opening period, the influential Nicolas Pepe laid on a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 54th minute, and Pepe himself scored three minutes later to all but settle the contest.
Mesut Ozil added another in the 90th minute, before substitute Lacazette, who last netted against Standard Liege on December 12, got in on the act in stoppage time.
Arteta, who revealed before the match he turned down an approach from Newcastle while still an assistant at Manchester City, could enjoy the closing stages of a precious victory, with Arsenal climbing back up to 10th and within sight of the European places.
Newcastle’s set-pieces had caused early problems for Arsenal, and Sean Longstaff’s deflected strike forced a scrambling save from Bernd Leno, before Joelinton awkwardly stabbed wide from six yards moments later.
Martin Dubravka was not troubled for over half an hour, but Arsenal pressure built heading into half-time as the Newcastle goalkeeper made stops from Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah and Pepe.
The hosts were on the front foot again following the restart, and Pepe danced to the byline before cutting a cross back for Nketiah, who volleyed against the crossbar.
The opener soon followed, with Aubameyang towering over Valentino Lazaro to head Pepe’s right-wing delivery across Dubravka into the bottom-right corner.
And the second came less than three minutes after the first, as Bukayo Saka nutmegged Lazaro on the left and squared for Pepe to sweep low inside the near post.
Ciaran Clark skewed wide from a great position in the area when teed up by Allan Saint-Maximin, who himself hit the post with a fine curling effort, but there was no dramatic Newcastle recovery.
Ozil’s close-range finish deceived Dubravka for a scruffy third Arsenal goal, before Lacazette’s own slightly untidy effort found the top-right corner to spark a joyous celebration.