Arsenal arrested a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats as Arsene Wenger racked up his 700th win as manager in a 3-0 victory over Watford.

Losses against Tottenham, Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion had formed part of a run of five defeats in six matches in all competitions, before a 2-0 Europa League win at AC Milan on Thursday lifted spirits.

Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny were rested ahead of this week’s return leg against the Rossoneri but Shkodran Mustafi’s eighth-minute opener had Arsenal swiftly on the front foot.

Mustafi goal

Shkodran Mustafi goal against Watford (Premier League)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the Gunners’ advantage in the second half, before Troy Deeney – who accused Arsenal lacking “cojones” after scoring a penalty in a 2-1 win for Watford in the reverse fixture in October – saw a spot-kick saved by Petr Cech.

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And the victory was sealed for Arsenal in the 77th minute, when Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired in a third from the edge of the box for his first Premier League goal for the Gunners.

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Arsenal move to within 10 points of the top four, although the Europa League now appears their most likely route to next season’s Champions League.