Gunners beat Newcastle

Goals from Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil secured a much needed victory to move Arsenal to the top four.

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny celebrates his goal against Newcastle United in the English Premier League match on 28 April 2014. Picture: Facebook.

LONDON - Arsenal took a big step to securing their place in the Champions League for a 17th consecutive season after a comfortable 3-0 home win against an increasingly woeful Newcastle United on Monday.

With two Premier League games remaining, Arsenal have 73 points, four clear of fifth-placed Everton who lost 2-0 at Southampton on Saturday and have still to play title favourites Manchester City.

"One more win and we will be in the top four for sure," Wenger told reporters, while injecting a note of caution. "I'm long enough in the job to know to get over the line is always difficult."

Arsenal, who will face a European side in a playoff to reach the Champions League proper if they finish fourth, opened the scoring in the 26th minute through Laurent Koscielny when he prodded home Santi Cazorla's free kick.

Mesut Ozil then doubled the hosts' lead in the 42nd minute with a tap-in after Tim Krul had twice denied Olivier Giroud.

Arsenal were rarely threatened and added a third after 66 minutes with a powerful Giroud header.

Arsenal's 3-0 humbling at Everton earlier this month looked to have ended their hopes of Champions League qualification but a run of three successive victories coupled with Everton's stuttering form has the Gunners back in the driving seat.

"We have gone through a difficult period and Goodison Park was one of them," said Wenger. "The spirit in the team is strong, determined and healthy and you can see that in the way we have bounced back from disappointment.

"We would love for the season to be longer. We are four points ahead of Everton and we want to take maximum points from now until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Under-fire Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew vowed to arrest their slide and finish in the top 10 after they suffered a 3-0 loss at Arsenal on Monday, extending their dismal run to six straight league defeats.

Ninth-placed Newcastle looked limp in defence and toothless in attack as they struggled to live with Arsenal's attacking flair and Arsene Wenger's side raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil.

"I think they are frustrated," Pardew told reporters. "I think we had 2,000 here tonight who made this long, long trip.

"All I can do as a manager is make sure I do this job to the best of my ability. We have been top 10 all year, this recent run is not something I'm hiding from. We should have performed better in this run and we have got to finish in the top 10."

Newcastle are three points ahead of 11th-placed Crystal Palace with two Premier League games left, the last of which is at table-toppers Liverpool.