Theo Walcott scored three goals and set up two more as Arsenal overcame Newcastle in a 10-goal thriller and climbed to fifth in the Premier League.

Walcott, out of contract in the summer, swept Arsenal in front but Demba Ba equalised with a deflected free-kick.

After Sylvain Marveaux tapped in to cancel out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's low shot, Lukas Podolski nodded home.

Theo Walcott coy on future

Ba levelled again, only for Walcott to score twice more, either side of a brace from substitute Olivier Giroud.

Giroud hit the bar as Arsenal pushed for an eighth, but the result was secure and Arsenal extended their winning run to four games.

Emirates Stadium was engulfed by chants of "sign him up" as the full-time whistle approached, a reference to Walcott's contract dispute.

He has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season and four in three games since being deployed as the central striker.

His first effort, in particular, carried shades of Thierry Henry - Arsenal's record goalscorer who was watching from the stands and is training with the club during the Major League Soccer off-season.

Analysis

"An amazing game. Festive fun and frolics at the Emirates. Seven goals for Arsenal, three for the excellent Theo Walcott. Arsenal need to sign him up and Newcastle need to overcome the heartache of their festive period."

It is hard to imagine Arsenal letting the 23-year-old leave if he continues to produce performances of this level.

Walcott left Newcastle stunned but while they are still without an away league win this term, they should take heart from impressive displays at Manchester United and Arsenal over the festive period.

They had four days less than Arsenal to prepare - the Gunners' Boxing Day visit of West Ham was postponed - yet enjoyed plenty of early possession and Ba headed just over from Marveaux's corner.

Newcastle were punished for a high defensive line when Walcott latched on to Podolski's through ball and curled past Tim Krul - but Alan Pardew's men responded well and were rewarded.

Bacary Sagna conceded a needless free-kick outside the box and Ba's set piece took a heavy deflection off Jack Wilshere to elude Szczesny.

After half-time Podolski nodded Danny Simpson's throw to Santi Cazorla and he set up Oxlade-Chamberlain to drill past Krul, only for Gabriel Obertan to beat Sagna and cross for Marveaux to tap in.

Arsene Wenger praises 'great' Walcott

The momentum was shifting like a pendulum and no sooner had Podolski headed Arsenal back in front after Wilshere's run and cross than Newcastle struck again for 3-3.

A weaving run from the outstanding Marveaux ended with a cross to the back post that let Ba ghost past Kieran Gibbs and convert.

Despite Pardew signalling to his players that they must not concede again, his message went unheeded as Walcott clipped his second.

The introduction of Giroud gave Arsenal a new dimension and the Frenchman headed in a Walcott cross before drilling past Krul.

Tough day for Magpies - Pardew

With Newcastle tiring, Walcott shimmied his way past several defenders to chip Krul from a tight angle and seal his hat-trick.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew: "We have given away soft goals and the match has got away from us. It was a heavy pitch at Old Trafford and we looked leggy after our exertions there.

"We did not have the energy to cope with them in the last 20 minutes. We put the ball at risk too often and some of the goals we gave away were not good enough for us.

"There was a clear difference between the two sides in the last part of the match. We got overrun, but we have to defend as a team. I don't want to put all the focus on the defence and the back four."

On whether Demba Ba will leave the club: "It will be what it will be. There is nothing we can do about that - the clause is there and that is that."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Arsenal

  • 01 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna
  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 28 Gibbs
  • 08 Arteta
  • 10 Wilshere
  • 14 Walcott
  • 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain (Giroud - 74' )
  • 19 Cazorla (Coquelin - 85' )
  • 09 Podolski (Ramsey - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 24 Mannone
  • 20 Djourou
  • 07 Rosicky
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 22 Coquelin
  • 12 Giroud
  • 27 Gervinho

Newcastle United

  • 01 Krul
  • 02 Coloccini
  • 03 Santon Booked
  • 05 Simpson (Ferguson - 82' )
  • 14 Perch
  • 20 Bigirimana (Sh Ameobi - 82' )
  • 22 Marveaux (Tavernier - 88' )
  • 24 Tiote
  • 25 Obertan
  • 09 Cisse
  • 19 Ba

Substitutes

  • 37 Harper
  • 31 Ferguson
  • 34 Tavernier
  • 44 Streete
  • 39 Abeid
  • 23 Sh Ameobi
  • 28 Sa Ameobi
Ref: Foy
Att: 60,087

Match Stats

Shots

16 10

On target

12 8

Corners

5 6

Fouls

8 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:58 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +4:31

Olivier Giroud takes a shot.

90:00 +3:47

Davide Santon produces a cross, save by Wojciech Szczesny.

90:00 +1:01

Assist on the goal came from Jack Wilshere.

90:00 +1:01 Goal scored

Goal! - Theo Walcott - Arsenal 7 - 3 Newcastle Theo Walcott scores a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle.

90:00 +0:04

Theo Walcott takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +0:04 Booking

Booking Booking for Davide Santon for unsporting behaviour.

89:56

Davide Santon concedes a free kick for a foul on Olivier Giroud.

88:26

Theo Walcott is adjudged to have handled the ball. James Perch restarts play with the free kick.

87:52 Substitution

Substitution James Tavernier is brought on as a substitute for Sylvain Marveaux.

86:31

Theo Walcott provided the assist for the goal.

86:31 Goal scored

Goal! - Olivier Giroud - Arsenal 6 - 3 Newcastle Olivier Giroud finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 6-3 Newcastle.

85:48

Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Demba Ba results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

85:00 Substitution

Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Francis Coquelin coming on for Santi Cazorla.

84:00

Theo Walcott provided the assist for the goal.

84:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Olivier Giroud - Arsenal 5 - 3 Newcastle Olivier Giroud grabs a headed goal from close range. Arsenal 5-3 Newcastle.

83:27

The ball is swung over by Laurent Koscielny.

82:43

Corner taken by Jack Wilshere from the right by-line.

82:29

Shot from 20 yards from Theo Walcott. James Perch gets a block in.

81:02 Substitution

Substitution (Newcastle) makes a substitution, with Shane Ferguson coming on for Danny Simpson.

81:02 Substitution

Substitution Aaron Ramsey is brought on as a substitute for Lukas Podolski.

81:02 Substitution

Substitution Shola Ameobi comes on in place of Gael Bigirimana.

79:11

Papiss Cisse is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

77:34

Gael Bigirimana gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Santi Cazorla. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Jack Wilshere, save by Tim Krul.

76:19

The ball is swung over by Danny Simpson, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Laurent Koscielny by Demba Ba. Direct free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.

75:16

Corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Olivier Giroud.

75:01

The ball is sent over by Kieran Gibbs, save made by Tim Krul.

74:30

Gael Bigirimana takes a fantastic shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.

73:10 Substitution

Substitution Olivier Giroud on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

72:05

Kieran Gibbs provided the assist for the goal.

72:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Theo Walcott - Arsenal 4 - 3 Newcastle Theo Walcott gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Arsenal 4-3 Newcastle.

69:59

Mikel Arteta concedes a free kick for a foul on Demba Ba. Danny Simpson takes the free kick.

68:18

Sylvain Marveaux provided the assist for the goal.

68:18 Goal scored

Goal! - Demba Ba - Arsenal 3 - 3 Newcastle Goal scored by Demba Ba from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 3-3 Newcastle.

65:15

Corner taken by Jack Wilshere from the right by-line, Close range headed effort by Laurent Koscielny goes wide of the left-hand upright.

63:40

Assist by Jack Wilshere.

63:40 Goal scored

Goal! - Lukas Podolski - Arsenal 3 - 2 Newcastle Lukas Podolski finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle.

60:51

Effort from 18 yards by Santi Cazorla. Tim Krul makes a save. Corner taken right-footed by Theo Walcott from the left by-line, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

60:05

Cheick Tiote concedes a free kick for a foul on Mikel Arteta. Thomas Vermaelen takes the free kick. Drilled right-footed shot by Santi Cazorla. Blocked by James Perch.

58:36

Gabriel Obertan provided the assist for the goal.

58:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Sylvain Marveaux - Arsenal 2 - 2 Newcastle Sylvain Marveaux finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle.

56:47

Theo Walcott produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

54:32

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lukas Podolski by Danny Simpson. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

51:13

Foul by Demba Ba on Mikel Arteta, free kick awarded. Mikel Arteta takes the direct free kick.

49:59

The assist for the goal came from Santi Cazorla.

49:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Arsenal 2 - 1 Newcastle Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain grabs a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle.

48:23

Danny Simpson crosses the ball, clearance made by Thomas Vermaelen.

46:36

Kieran Gibbs has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Save by Tim Krul.

45:40

Santi Cazorla sends in a cross, save by Tim Krul.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:22 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

44:58

Laurent Koscielny concedes a free kick for a foul on Demba Ba. Direct free kick taken by Demba Ba. Shot by Sylvain Marveaux. Save by Wojciech Szczesny. Corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Kieran Gibbs. Corner taken by Sylvain Marveaux from the left by-line, Demba Ba has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.

42:58

Assist by Gabriel Obertan.

42:58 Goal scored

Goal! - Demba Ba - Arsenal 1 - 1 Newcastle Demba Ba hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from outside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle.

42:00

Bacary Sagna challenges Gabriel Obertan unfairly and gives away a free kick.

39:15

Effort on goal by Cheick Tiote from 30 yards. Save by Wojciech Szczesny. Sylvain Marveaux takes a outswinging corner.

38:45

The ball is sent over by Danny Simpson, clearance made by Laurent Koscielny.

36:46

Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save by Tim Krul.

34:41

Centre by Gabriel Obertan, blocked by Laurent Koscielny.

30:43

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crosses the ball, Davide Santon gets a block in.

30:04

The assistant referee signals for offside against Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Fabricio Coloccini takes the free kick.

28:18

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux from the right by-line, Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.

26:51

Inswinging corner taken by Jack Wilshere, Tim Krul makes a save.

26:16

Inswinging corner taken by Theo Walcott, clearance made by James Perch.

25:20

Mikel Arteta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Demba Ba. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Cheick Tiote from left channel, save made by Wojciech Szczesny.

24:33

Kieran Gibbs delivers the ball.

21:57

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikel Arteta on Demba Ba. Sylvain Marveaux restarts play with the free kick.

21:00

Demba Ba takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.

19:36

Lukas Podolski provided the assist for the goal.

19:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Theo Walcott - Arsenal 1 - 0 Newcastle Goal scored by Theo Walcott from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle.

18:14

Mikel Arteta challenges Papiss Cisse unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Papiss Cisse.

16:57

Effort on goal by Demba Ba from 25 yards. Jack Wilshere gets a block in. The offside flag is raised against Demba Ba. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.

15:40

Corner from the right by-line taken by Sylvain Marveaux, Demba Ba has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.

14:33

Bacary Sagna sends in a cross, Davide Santon makes a clearance.

13:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Simpson by Lukas Podolski. Sylvain Marveaux crosses the ball in from the free kick, Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.

10:45

Laurent Koscielny concedes a free kick for a foul on Demba Ba. Free kick taken by Fabricio Coloccini.

9:31

The offside flag is raised against Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Indirect free kick taken by Fabricio Coloccini.

7:51

Cheick Tiote challenges Lukas Podolski unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lukas Podolski takes the free kick.

3:58

Centre by Santi Cazorla, save made by Tim Krul.

3:37

The ball is sent over by Bacary Sagna, clearance by Fabricio Coloccini.

3:08

Free kick awarded for a foul by Cheick Tiote on Jack Wilshere. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

2:27

Centre by Danny Simpson. James Perch challenges Kieran Gibbs unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.

0:46

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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