Newcastle, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Olivier Giroud's blistering run of form continued on Saturday as the French striker scored two goals in a span of four first-half minutes as Arsenal claimed a 2-1 win over Newcastle United at St. James' Park.
Coming off a disappointing exit from the Champions League at the hands of Monaco on Tuesday, Arsene Wenger's side faced the challenge of being properly motivated to play a league match after such a big let-down.
But on the back of Giroud, who has scored an impressive eight goals in his last nine Premier League matches, the Gunners seized control of proceedings right from the outset.
Giroud put the traveling Gunners ahead after 24 minutes and doubled the advantage four minutes later when Santi Cazorla delivered an excellent corner kick into the box and Giroud was left unmarked to nod it past Magpies goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Newcastle United came out of the dressing room for the second half with a renewed fire and took the game to Arsenal. The hosts pulled one goal back just minutes into the second half when Remy Cabella got free down the right flank and cut it back to Moussa Sissoko, who slid it past David Ospina.
Buoyed by the goal and the enthusiasm of the home fans, Newcastle surged forward and created several quality scoring opportunities, but the equalizing goal never came and Arsenal walked away with an important three points.
The result keeps Arsenal in third place, but the club is within one point of Manchester City for second place, while Newcastle stays in 12th place with the defeat on 35 points.
Also in the Premier League on Saturday, Manchester City shook off a shocking defeat to Burnley in league play last week and coasted to a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Etihad Stadium.
Things started well for City as West Brom went down to 10 men after just two minutes when Gareth McAuley was sent off for a rash tackle.
That essentially took all the sting out of proceedings as Wilfried Bony opened his Manchester City account in the 27th minute, while Fernando scored five minutes before the break and David Silva netted a third goal to wrap up all three points.
Harry Kane continued his impressive goal-scoring run with a hat trick at White Hart Lane to lead Tottenham-Hotspur to a wild 4-3 victory over Leicester City.
Bafetimbi Gomis scored with three minutes to play to lift Swansea City to a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park
Shane Long scored in the 37th minute and an own goal from Jason Shackell propelled Southampton to a 2-0 win over Burnley, while goals from Glenn Murray and Wilfried Zaha powered Crystal Palace to a 2-1 win against Stoke City.
Saturday's final fixture saw Diafra Sakho score with three minutes to play to lift West Ham United to a 1-0 win over Sunderland at Upton Park.