Arsenal stepped up the pressure on north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur n the race for the final Champions League place with a 3-0 demolition of Charlton Athletic at Highbury.
Robert Pires scored from close range following a fine, flowing move by the home side inside quarter of an hour, with Emmanuel Adebayor knocking in a second before the break after an error by Charlton defender Hermann Hreidarsson.
The impressive Alexander Hleb added a third five minutes into the second half as the Gunners recorded three successive Barclays Premiership wins at a canter.
It could have been more for Arsenal with the hosts simply outclassing Alan Curbishley's men, who face an FA Cup quarter-final tie with Middlesbrough on Thursday.
Despite the glowing pre-match recommendation for his opposite number, who has been in talks with the Football Association over the England manager's job, Arsene Wenger's side were in determined mood to get a positive result right from kick-off.
A long ball forwards from Emmanuel Eboue picked out Adebayor on the edge of the penalty area after just four minutes. Centre-back Chris Perry hesitated, and the Togo striker hit a low shot goalwards, which Thomas Myhre did well to beat away.
The African was soon presented with another golden opportunity. Full-back Jonathan Spector managed to trip over the ball, some 25 yards out.
Adebayor was on to it like a flash, racing into the penalty area. He hesitated somewhat, however, which allowed the American to dash back and make a fine saving tackle.
Charlton were in danger of being over-run in midfield and Arsenal went ahead on 13 minutes. Hleb won the ball from former Arsenal trainee Jerome Thomas, and sped away down the right.
He fed Thierry Henry, who in turn picked out Adebayor on the edge of the box. A quick one-two released the Gunners captain down the left side, for him to surge to the goal-line and cut a pass back to Pires, who could not miss.
Arsenal almost went 2-0 ahead when Henry turned Hreidarsson inside out, before lashing his shot just over the crossbar.
On 20 minutes, Henry's sweeping centre from the right found Adebayor at the far post and his towering, downward header was only just wide.
A foul by Philippe Senderos on Luke Young gave Charlton a chance to pressurise the Arsenal penalty area.
Dennis Rommedahl's free-kick from the right touchline was flicked on by Jason Euell, but it was too close to Jens Lehmann.
But it was 2-0 on 32 minutes. Henry's through-ball should have been cut out by Hreidarsson, 15 yards from his own goal.
However, the Icelander's control allowed it to squirm away from him, and right to the waiting Adebayor, who slid in to hook the ball past Myhre.
To their credit, Charlton did not let their work-rate drop, but too often both England striker Darren Bent and winger Rommedahl saw promising runs checked by an offside flag.
With two minutes to go until half-time, Cesc Fabregas' deflected effort was well held by Myhre.
Arsenal were soon in the ascendancy following the restart and, after 49 minutes, they were 3-0 ahead.
Hleb was allowed to surge to the edge of the area and shoot, with Hreidarsson making a brave block.
Spector then threw himself in the path of Adebayor's strike from the rebound, only for Hleb to then lash the loose ball into the net.
It was now one-way traffic, with Charlton unable to get out of their own half for long spells.
As the hour mark approached, Pires had a low strike deflected just wide of the far post by Hreidarsson.
Henry then jinked his way across the edge of the Charlton area, before curling a left-footed strike just wide.
With 20 minutes left, substitute Dennis Bergkamp flashing an angled drive over the bar from the corner of the penalty area.
The tempo of the match dropped during the closing stages, with the home side seeming content with the outcome.
And Arsenal comfortably played out the remaining few minutes to secure a third straight Barclays Premiership win as the fortunes of the Champions League quarter-finalists continued to improve.