ALAN Pardew’s return to the dugout failed to inspire his Newcastle United side as they slumped to a sixth successive Premier League loss with a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.
The Magpies were soundly beaten as goals from Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud gave the Gunners a comfortable win.
Pardew made three changes from the side beaten 2-1 at Swansea, a fifth straight defeat. Forward Loic Remy, defender Mathieu Debuchy and midfielder Moussa Sissoko, back from injury, all came into the starting XI while there was a place on the bench for Gabriel Obertan.
But it failed to make any difference as the confidence-hit side barely threatened to make a game of it.
Newcastle had started brightly, but as soon as Koscielny gave Arsenal a 26th-minute lead then there was only going to be one winner.
Sissoko gave a way a free-kick 25 yards out, and then compounded his error by allowing Koscielny to beat him to Santi Cazoorla’s flighted cross.
Debuchy blasted wide and Cheick Tiote had a long-range effort straight at keeper Wojciech Szczesny before Arsenal doubled their lead before half-time. Tim Krul twice saved from Giroud when clean through on goal, but the ball eventually fell to Ozil who tapped home despite looking marginally offside.
After the break, Yoan Gouffran had a good chance to pull a goal back when sent through by Remy, but he fired straight at Szczesny.
It was the one bright spot of the half, with Giroud then heading home Ozil’s left-wing cross to make it 3-0 on 66 minutes.
It was then just a matter of how many more Arsenal would score but despite almost constant pressure, the score stayed at three.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Debuchy (Yanga-Mbiwa, 84), Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Gosling (Shola Ameobi, 69), Anita, Tiote, Gouffran (Armstrong, 89), Sissoko; Remy. Subs: Elliot, Haidara, S Taylor, Obertan.
ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey (Rosicky, 74), Ozil (Flamini, 74), Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud (Sanogo, 84). Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Kallstrom, Sanogo.
Goals: Koscielny 26, Ozil 42, Giroud 66
Bookings: Sissoko 25, Koscielny 26, Ramsey 34, Tiote 45, Sagna 75
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston)