Arsenal climbed above rivals Tottenham Hotspur into fifth in the Premier League after an emphatic 5-0 victory against goal-shy Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.
France forward Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the eighth minute after he was sent clear by Mesut Ozil's delightful flick before the German added a second with a low finish.
Theo Walcott added a third after a razor-sharp counter attack, Santi Cazorla scored a fourth from the penalty spot after substitute Chuba Akpom was felled by Brad Guzan and Hector Bellerin completed the rout with a wonderfully-placed fifth.
Villa, 16th and without a win since December 7, have not scored a Premier League goal since December 20 are three points above the relegation zone.
Arsenal have 42 points from 23 games and are equal on points with Southampton whose surprise bid for Champions League qualification took a hit with a 1-0 home loss to Swansea.
Jonjo Shelvey grabbed the winner in the 83rd minute with a swerving shot from the edge of the area, leaving Southampton to bemoan its inability to translate dominance into goals.