Arsenal appear to be coasting to fourth place, and might have it as good as locked up heading into their next game if Everton don't pull off a major upset against Manchester City on Sunday. They were hardly opposed at all by Newcastle on Monday, and coasted to a 3-0 victory.
Some poor goalkeeping and defending gifted Laurent Koscielny the opening goal, off a set piece in the 26th minute. Santi Cazorla delivered a solid ball into the box, but Tim Krul could have easily claimed. Instead, he backed up, allowing Koscielny to get on the end of the ball and poke it past him.
Mesut Özil doubled Arsenal's lead before the halftime break, though it should have been disallowed for offside. Olivier Giroud was played in behind the defense by Mikel Arteta in the 42nd minute, but couldn't make the most of his chances. He had two efforts saved, but his second shot deflected towards Özil, who applied an easy finish. There was a defender on the line on the second shot, but Özil had run past Krul before the shot was taken.
Newcastle didn't offer any more resistance in the second half and eventually conceded a very simple third goal in the 66th minute. Özil and Giroud connected again, with the tables turned on this occasion as Özil turned provider. He lofted a cross from the left wing towards the center of the box and Giroud was there to meet it and head into the back of the net.
And the match went as expected from there. Arsenal dominated, but didn't take many risks and looked very content with their 3-0 win. Newcastle didn't challenge them.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Arteta, Ramsey (Rosicky 74'), Podolski, Özil (Flamini 74'), Cazorla, Giroud (Sanogo 84')
Goals: Koscielny (26'), Özil (42'), Giroud (66')
Newcastle: Krul, Dummett, Williamson, Coloccini, Debuchy (Yanga-Mbiwa 84'), Tiote, Gosling (Ameobi 70'), Anita, Gouffran (Armstrong 89'), Remy, Sissoko