Arsenal got back on track with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday as Eddie Howe suffered his first defeat as manager of the Premier League strugglers.
Mikel Arteta’s side saw their 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions come to a painful end in last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool.
But second half goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli at the Emirates Stadium made it four wins from their last five league games.
Written off after their poor start to the season, Arsenal are fifth, level on points with fourth placed West Ham, as they chase a berth in next season’s Champions League.
Rejoining the race for European places represents significant progress for Arteta, but few opponents will be quite as obliging as woeful Newcastle.
Howe was in charge in person for the first time after missing last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Brentford due to a positive coronavirus test.
Hired by Newcastle’s new owners to replace the much-maligned Steve Bruce, Howe will have been left under no illusions about the size of the task facing him on Tyneside.