Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla each scored twice as Arsenal took advantage of Newcastle’s 21-year-old third-string goalkeeper Jak Alnwick in a 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Ayoze Perez scored for Newcastle.
The NBCSN game saw the Gunners move ahead of Newcastle on points, with 26. Arsenal is even with Southampton and three points ahead of the No. 7 Magpies.
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Per Mertesacker’s header off an 8th minute corner kick beat Alnwick but hit the crossbar.
But Giroud found the finishing touch 7 minutes later when he leapt between Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat to head home Alexis Sanchez’s cross for a 1-0 lead.
Welbeck had a goal pulled back for a foul on Janmaat a few minutes later, then barely missed with a strong rip in the 31st minute.
Papiss Cisse missed a sitter in the 33rd minute as Newcastle found its first real threat of the night.
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And the Cazorla walked Alnwick out of position before clipping the ball into the empty goal to make it 2-0 in the 54th minute. It was a class finish on a young keeper.
And the Giroud poked home a very nice side-footed flick a moment later to keep the rout moving forward.
Jack Colback’s 63rd free kick was nodded home by Perez to close the gap to 3-1.
But Danny Welbeck went down after going shoulder-to-shoulder with Paul Dummett in the box with three minutes to play, and Cazorla cheekily chipped in the PK.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Bellerin, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Flamini, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Maitland-Niles, 90=1′), Alexis (Coquelin, 87′), Welbeck, Giroud (Podolski, 73’+
Goals: Giroud 2 (15′, 58′), Cazorla 2 (54′, PK 88′)
Newcastle United: Alnwick, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini (c), Dummett; Tiote, Colback; Gouffran, Perez (Armstrong, 82′), Ameobi (Cabella, 56′); Cisse (Riviere, 56′)
Goal: Perez (63′)