Arsenal vs. Newcastle: Highlighting Top Performers in Gunners' Rout

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Arsenal vs. Newcastle: Highlighting Top Performers in Gunners' Rout
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Arsenal showed no mercy on Monday, as they dismantled Newcastle United at the Emirates to pick up three much-needed points in the race to secure fourth place in the Premier League and a Champions League qualifying berth next season.

Powered by an impressive performance in midfield and a spectacular individual effort from Mesut Ozil, the Gunners overwhelmed the Magpies, retaining possession 61 percent of the time, earning 14 corners to zero for Newcastle and out-shooting Alan Pardew's side 20-8.

Afterward, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey assessed the Gunners' performance, via Premier League on Twitter:

Now four points clear of fifth place Everton with two matches left to play, Arsenal supporters can thank the following stars for likely ensuring the Gunners will be competing for the European Cup next season. 

 

Mesut Ozil, M

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Arsenal's marquee summer signing, Ozil was nothing short of sensational on Monday, scoring and assisting for the Gunners en route to earning Man of the Match honors for the first time since March's 4-1 thrashing of Everton.

Ozil's impressive outing even caught the attention of well-known British journalist Piers Morgan:

The German international was replaced in midfield by Mathieu Flamini just a few minutes after he assisted Olivier Giroud on a headed goal that put the Gunners ahead by a comfortable three-goal margin.

According to WhoScored.com, Ozil, who touched the ball 69 times and severely outplayed Newcastle's Yoan Gouffran on Monday, won four dribbles and completed 94 percent of his passes in the blowout. 

 

Laurent Koscielny, D

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Gunners defender Laurent Koscielny showed off his offensive prowess in Monday's blowout win, scoring Arsenal's first goal of the match in the 26th minute following a set piece. 

The French veteran would receive a yellow card for excessive celebration following the go-ahead strike, but that was the extent of his wrongdoing on Monday, as he completed every single one of his passes and contributed to a clean sheet for Wojciech Szczesny.

Although Koscielny's dominant effort at the back was overshadowed by Ozil's big day, WhoScored.com awarded the 28-year-old a stellar match rating of 8.0.

 

Santi Cazorla, M

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla was everywhere on the pitch on Monday, earning a match-leading 114 total touches and assisting on Koscielny's opening goal in the first half.

The 29-year-old Spaniard was effective on the right side throughout, completing 87 percent of his passes, per WhoScored.com. What's more, Cazorla was aggressive when moving forward, attempting four shots to keep Newcastle's defense and goalkeeper Tim Krul on their heels, as noted by Arsenal's official Twitter account:

Earning an assist in Monday's rout, Cazorla has now recorded at least one assist in each of his past three outings for Arsenal. 

With upcoming matches against West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, Cazorla and his midfield partners will have plenty more opportunities to continue their superb play. After all, both of those clubs rank in the bottom-six of the league table and rank inside the top-six in terms of most goals conceded this season in the Premier League.

With Arsenal turning in one of their better overall performances of the 2013-14 campaign on Monday, the Gunners are set to head into the season's final month with immense confidence.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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