Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 to snatch the Premier League’s second spot from rivals Tottenham.
The Gunners went into the game needing a win against the already-relegated Villains, but required north London rivals Tottenham to slip up at relegated Newcastle.
Giroud opened the scoring in the first half, before adding a quick-fire double late on to seal his hat-trick and Mikel Arteta, on his final appearance for the club, forced Villa keeper Mark Bunn into an injury time own goal.
Meanwhile Spurs were thrashed 5-1 at St JamesÂ’ Park so it is Arsenal who finish runners up behind champions Leicester.
Arsenal took the lead in the fifth minute when Nacho Monreal was played in down the left by Alexis Sanchez and his cross into the middle was met by the unmarked Giroud and he powered his header past Bunn who got a hand to the ball but couldnÂ’t keep it out.
Villa almost responded in the ninth minute when Jordan Ayew got past Gabriel down the left but his pull-back into the middle was cut out by Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal continued to enjoy the majority of possession and Sanchez went close on 32 minutes with an effort from the right side of the area which flashed inches wide of BunnÂ’s far bottom corner.
A minute later Jack Wilshere should have made it 2-0 when he met a Sanchez cross from the left at the back post but guided his effort wide.
Arsenal dominated the second half proceedings and should have made it 2-0 on 73 minutes when the ball broke to Mohamed Elneny in the area from a deflected Sanchez cross, but he hit a rising effort over the top when he should have at least hit the target.
Two minutes later Santi Cazorla had an opportunity to finish the contest but his effort was well saved by Bunn.
Arsenal finally grabbed the crucial second goal on 78 minutes when Mesut Ozil got in down the left and picked out Giroud at the near post and he swept his effort over Bunn.
Two minutes later and the points were sealed when Giroud grabbed his hat-trick goal as he got on the end of Hector BellerinÂ’s defence-splitting pass and slid his effort past Bunn at the back post.
Sanchez then got through on goal and tried to lift the ball over Bunn, but the keeper got a hand to it to prevent a fourth.
The icing on the cake came deep into stoppage time when Sanchez teed up Arteta whose effort came back off the crossbar and rebounded into the net off Bunn.