Wojciech Szczesny - 7.5
Cheick Tiote hammered in whoppa from 30-yards but Szczesny had his feet planted in the right spot - impressively, he just plucked the stinger out of the air rather than beating it down first. Whenever called upon he was there and produced no hairy moments.
Bacary Sagna - 7.5
Showed adventure with his positioning, pushing himself as well as Santiago Cazorla forward. His attacking instincts almost paid off in the second half when he nodded on a goal-scoring opportunity for fellow defender Koscielny, yet the centre back failed to double his tally for the match. Pointlessly booked for booting the ball away in disgust after conceding a free-kick. Despite his petulance, the defender otherwise made a statement to Arsene Wenger, as he again performed great yet is fast approaching Bosman territory…
Per Mertesacker - 8
His reading of the game and understanding of where to be was underlined by his completion of timely interceptions - especially brilliant when stifling an attempting Newcastle United through-ball. Strong in the air, completed four clearances and enjoyed a 97% pass accuracy by the game's completion. What a chap.
Met Cazorla's assist from a set-piece on the half-volley to give Arsenal's home-support a much-needed goal lift 26 minutes into the match. The French defender received a cautionary booking for celebrating his goal, though. Whatever Mertesacker can do Koscielny can do better. Laurent doubled his clearance haul (eight) and mastered the pass… 52 attempts and they all met a team-mate's feet (100%).
Nacho Monreal - 7
Did well pushing forward, in an attempt to mirror the directness of right back Bacary Sagna. Five tackle attempts by the game's end, five clearances, yet not one of his crosses found a Gunner in the box.
Mikel Arteta - 7.5
Solid enough in the first half with five tackle attempts and a 90% pass completion. 87 passes in total from the Spaniard, ten total tackles attempted, too. A good middle-of-the-parkteta display.
Aaron Ramsey - 8
Demonstrated what the Gunners have missed in his four month absence as he rampaged through Newcastle's midfield, but saw his pass to Olivier Giroud denied a passage to the Frenchman's feet. Booked for a foul on Tiote. In the second half he showcased a series of majestic touches. Got the "Hleb-assist" or assist's assist as he provided the pass that set-up Ozil for the German's assist to Giroud.
Santiago Cazorla - 8
Supplied the opener from a dead ball situation, lifting the ball diagonally into the box that was angled perfectly for a guided touch from eight-yards. Tim Krul made a case for man of the match despite being on the losing team as he expertly saved an exquisite shot from Santi in half number two.
Mesut Ozil - 9
Capitalised with the ball in front of an open net after Giroud failed with two strikes, providing Arsenal's second. In the first half alone he was responsible for creating four goal-scoring opportunities for his fellow Guns. Did a number on the Magpies by pulling them out of position which created space for others. Assisted Giroud with a gorgeous cross. Was brought off to rapturous applause with 20 minutes remaining in favour of Mathieu Flamini.
Lukas Podolski - 8
Was a threat… far more so than spear-heading striker Giroud was in the first 45 minutes. Tested Tim Krul with numerous efforts from both his feet and also his bonce.
Olivier Giroud - 8
Had a good opportunity to score denied by Krul, yet his shot from the rebound fell into the path of Ozil who slotted the ball into an open net. His time came in the 66th minute with what was the goal of the game up to that point - a bullet-like header fired in via an Ozil cross.
Substitutions: Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky, Yaya Sanogo.