Mesut Ozil (centre) celebrates scoring the first goal for Arsenal on Wednesday. Photo: Paul Childs, Action Images via Reuters

LONDON – Arsenal reignited their stuttering top-four challenge, climbing above Manchester United into fifth place with a 3-0 home victory over West Ham United in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Rumours of a fan protest were well-founded, with many empty seats visible during an otherwise uneventful first hour which yielded few chances before Mesut Ozil curled in a 58th-minute opener.

Theo Walcott doubled the Gunners’ advantage, finishing a slick passing move with a close-range finish 10 minutes later, before Olivier Giroud came off the bench and scored a sublime third to seal his side’s second win in seven games.

Arsenal have 54 points from 29 games, while West Ham, who suffered a fifth straight loss, are 15th with 33 from 31.

* Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse scored within a minute of each other in the closing stages to hand Southampton their first home win since January as they came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 3-1.

Defeat for the visitors ended their run of four successive wins, which included victory at leaders Chelsea on Saturday, and saw Palace stay 16th, just three points above the drop zone.

Christian Benteke opened the scoring in the 31st minute but, shortly after having a penalty appeal turned down, Southampton equalised when Nathan Redmond finished in the bottom left-hand corner at the end of Steven Davis's delivery.

Japan international Yoshida stole in at the back post to put Southampton ahead in 84th minute after Redmond’s trickery and pace set up the chance, and then Dusan Tadic delivered an inch-perfect pass less than 60 seconds later for Ward-Prowse to seal the victory.

* Hull City kept alive their bid to avoid relegation after coming from behind to beat Middlesbrough 4-2 and pile more pressure on their beleaguered rivals.

The result lifted Hull out of the drop zone into 17th position on 30 points from 31 games, while Boro remained 19th with 23 points from 30 matches after stretching their winless league run to 13 games.

Middlesbrough imploded after Alvaro Negredo had fired them into an early lead as Lazar Markovic, Baye Oumar Niasse and Abel Hernandez gave Hull a 3-1 advantage, before Marten de Roon pulled one back from an offside position on the stroke of halftime.

The frantic pace dropped after the interval, but Hull held the upper hand and sealed the contest when captain Harry Maguire headed home his first Premier League goal to give the Yorkshire club a fifth win in six home games under manager Marco Silva.