(Reuters) - Substitute Alexandre Lacazette ended his goal drought as Arsenal secured their first Premier League win since New Year’s Day with a 4-0 victory over Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Lacazette had gone nine games in all competitions without a goal before he found the target with a mis-hit shot in the final moments of the game.
The win moves Arsenal up to tenth position and will give them hope they can make a late push towards European qualification for next season.
After a goalless first half, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in front with a powerful header from a Nicolas Pepe cross.
Pepe himself added the second, from close range after good work from the impressive Bukayo Saka.
Newcastle had opportunities to get back in the game, with Allan Saint-Maximin hitting the post and Ciaran Clark missing a great chance from close range.
But Mesut Ozil put the game beyond the Magpies with his first goal of the season with a tap-in after a flowing Arsenal move involving 35 passes and touches from all 11 players — the most passes for any goal in the league this season.
Lacazette, left on the bench with youngster Eddie Nketiah, finished off a smart move for Mikel Arteta’s side, who recorded just their second win since the Spaniard took over at the club.
“We wanted to put draws into wins and the home form is going to be vital. It was a little bit slow and you can get frustrated but we started to manage the game better after 25 minutes, had a talk at halftime and improved in the second half,” said Arteta.
“In the final third we were poor in the first 25 minutes. The most important thing is the reaction of all the players and staff towards him (Alexandre Lacazette), the players, everybody really like him, he works so hard for the team,” he added.
The defeat ended an eight-game unbeaten run for Newcastle and left manager Steve Bruce surprised with their defending.
“I didn’t see that coming in the second half. We gave bad goals away which isn’t like us. We usually don’t give much away. When that fourth goal happens you think it wasn’t our day,” Bruce said.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ian Chadband and Christian Radnedge