A scintillating day of football was concluded in great fashion, as Arsenal got the better of Newcastle in a 10-goal thriller by beating the Magpies 7-3 at the Emirates Stadium.
Theo Walcott got his wish to start the game up-front and he certainly delivered, scoring a hat-trick and claiming two assists in his performance of the season, if not his career so far.
And it was Walcott who opened the scoring in some style after 20 minutes when he took a Lucas Podolski pass in his stride to fire a fine finish across Tim Krul, but Newcastle’s prolific striker Demba Ba got the visitor’s deserved equaliser shortly before half-time.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put the Gunners back into the lead, but that didn’t last long either as Sylvain Marveaux equalised this time with a simple finish into an empty net after a neat cross from Gabriel Obertan.
Germany international Lukas Podolski put the home side in front for the third time, but this lead only lasted five minutes before Ba got his second with a neat volley from close range.
Walcott’s second started the rout, as he turned in the box to fire a shot into the roof of the net, which was shortly followed by two quick-fire goals from substitute Olivier Giroud – both supplied by Walcott.
Arsenal pressed forward again and again and man-of-the-match Walcott finally got his hat-trick goal in stoppage time with the most stunning of finishes, deftly chipping over Tim Krul from close range after popping back up from a being brought down in the box.
A simply stunning performance from the youngster, one that will surely serve as a message to Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to resolve his ongoing contract negotiations.
The win puts Arsenal up to fifth and only two points behind Chelsea in fourth, while Newcastle remain in 17th with only a three point cushion above the drop-zone.