By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 2 (Koscielny 26, Ozil 42, Giroud 66)
Newcastle United 0
Newcastle United suffered their sixth successive Barclays Premier League defeat as they went down 3-0 away at Arsenal.
Goals from Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil put the hosts deservedly in control at the break, before Olivier Giroud's second half header secured maximum points for the Gunners.
The Magpies briefly threatened at the Emirates Stadium, with Yoan Gouffran twice seeing efforts saved by Wojciech Szczesny, but they were second best for large spells against a Champions League-chasing Arsenal side and travelled back to Tyneside empty-handed.
Arsenal had plenty of possession in the opening exchanges but took 18 minutes to register a meaningful shot on the United goal.
When Santi Cazorla's right-wing corner was only partially dealt with, the Spaniard promptly swung the ball back into the heart of the six-yard box. Under pressure, goalkeeper Krul connected with a firm punch, only for Ozil to drive a half-volley inches wide from the edge of the area.
Newcastle had produced little of note in the final third but responded well and Sissoko threatened immediately after.
Running at the Gunners' defence, he knocked the ball past Per Mertesacker and raced past the German to retrieve it, before curling harmlessly off target.
The hosts broke the deadlock on 26 minutes through Koscielny. Another Cazorla delivery - this time from a free-kick - looked to be heading all the way through to Krul, but Koscielny nipped in ahead of the stopper to divert the ball home from a couple of yards.
Krul came to the rescue a couple of minutes later, racing off his line to divert a Lukas Podolski shot wide, before brilliantly keeping out the same player's header from the resulting corner.
But Arsenal were soon back on the front foot and doubled their advantage three minutes before half-time.
Giroud broke the offside trap, only to be denied not once, but twice, by Krul. However, much to the Dutchman's bad luck, the second save ricocheted kindly into the path of Ozil, who took a touch before firing home past a couple of covering defenders.
Having been the creator for much of the first period, Cazorla had two efforts of his own either side of half-time.
First, seconds before the interval, a well-struck drive across the face of goal was parried clear by Krul, and then in the 52nd minute, he scooped a volley well over the top as United struggled to deal with a ball into the box.
At 2-0, United weren't completely out of the contest and almost halved the deficit on 58 minutes.
Loic Remy's flick set Gouffran clear in behind the hosts' rearguard, and the Frenchman sped into the penalty area and held off the challenge of Koscielny but couldn't beat Szczesny, who got down well to block his strike.
And they were made to pay by Giroud, who headed home the Gunners' third of the evening in the 66th minute.
Aaron Ramsey and Ozil combined down the left, with the latter's cross met by the unchallenged Giroud to head powerfully past a helpless Krul.
It was back to being one-way traffic as Podolski rippled the side netting from an Ozil cut-back, although there was brief respite when Gouffran saw a low effort smothered by Szczesny.
Left-back Paul Dummett blazed an injury-time volley over the bar and that was about as good as it got for the Magpies, who tasted defeat for the sixth successive outing.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Mikel Arteta (c), Aaron Ramsey (Tomas Rosicky 74); Mesut Ozil (Mathieu Flamini 74), Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski; Olivier Giroud (Yaya Sanogo 84)
Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson, Thomas Vermaelen, Kim Kallstrom
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy (Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa 84), Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett; Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote, Dan Gosling (Shola Ameobi 69); Moussa Sissoko, Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran (Adam Armstrong 89)
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)
Bookings: Arsenal - Koscielny (26), Ramsey (34), Sagna (75); Newcastle - Sissoko (25), Tiote (45)
Attendance: 60,023 (2,000 Newcastle)