Emmanuel Adebayor came off the bench to score a second half hat-trick as Arsenal crushed relegated Derby County 6-2 at Pride Park in the Premier League on Monday.
Arsenal moved on to 77 points, a tally that ensures they will finish at least third. Manchester United and Chelsea occupy the top two spots, both on 81 points.
Although Arsenal still have a remote mathematical chance of winning the title if United and Chelsea were to collapse in their final two matches, there was an end of season atmosphere about the game in which Derby started the better side.
But a dreadful mistake by Darren Moore set up Arsenal's opening goal by Nicklas Bendtner after 25 minutes and handed the initiative to the visitors, who also crushed Derby 5-0 at the Emirates in September, and they never lost it.
Derby, who conceded six goals for the second home match in succession after a 6-0 rout by Aston Villa, were level when James McEveley equalised in the 31st minute after Arsenal failed to deal with an inswinging Robbie Savage free kick.
Robin van Persie put Arsenal back in front five minutes from halftime before Adebayor made it 3-1 with a tap-in in the 59th.
Robert Earnshaw came off the bench and pulled one back for Derby with 13 minutes to go, but Arsenal hit back in the closing stages with a goal from Theo Walcott and two more from Adebayor, who took his total in all competitions to 30.
Derby, who have only 11 points, are on course to finish with the lowest total since the Premier League began in 1992. Their only league win came against Newcastle in September.