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Wenger closes on top four­

Newcastle United at home.

Koscielny celebrates the goal that sent Arsenal on their way to an easy win over Newcastle
Koscielny celebrates the goal that sent Arsenal on their way to an easy win over Newcastle

The dream fixture for any Barclays Premier League side with something left at stake. Champions League football is the goal for Arsenal, and Alan Pardew's side never looked placing a stumbling block in front of their ambitions.

Arsenal are now four points ahead of Everton in the race for fourth with just two matches remaining, after club-record signing Mesut Oezil delivered an inspired display, scoring one and creating another.

It was a sixth straight defeat for Pardew, who made a long-awaited return to the dugout after a touchline ban; it made no difference to his side, though, who produced another lacklustre display.

The 2000-strong travelling support vented their anger at Pardew, whose future - despite being tied down to a long-term deal - is surely now in doubt.

Laurent Koscielny stabbed in a deep free kick from Santi Cazorla before Oezil swept home after Olivier Giroud twice had shots blocked by busy keeper Tim Krul. Arsenal moved 3-0 ahead in the second half when Oezil's inch-perfect cross was headed in by Olivier Giroud. The massed ranks of the visiting fans had endured enough and turned on their manager, whose relationship with the club's supporters is now strained at best.

Arsenal, though, look locked on to finish in the Champions League places again ahead of their FA Cup final date with Hull City at Wembley.

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