The result leaves Arsenal with one foot in the last 16 and in top form for what could be a season-defining trip to Eastlands in the Premier League this weekend.
The goals, as usual, were spread amongst the team with captain Cesc Fabregas scoring a penalty on his return from injury and Alex Song, Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere and Marouane Chamakh all finding the net.
Even Shakhtar’s goal was scored by an Arsenal man – striker Eduardo making an emotional return to London and receiving a standing ovation when he volleyed home with the score already standing at 5-0.
All this without star striker Robin van Persie, who is still injured, so it’s easy to see why manager Arsene Wenger wont’ be drawn into the inevitable auction for Rooney’s signature after his controversial transfer request at Old Trafford this week.
“We are not interested in buying anyone,” he insisted. “It’s a story I will be happy to read in the newspapers but I would like to keep out of it. That means we are not buying anyone – we have enough strikers.’’
Wenger can take confidence from the fact his team are looking increasingly assured and that his midfield trio of Fabregas, Wilshere and Nasri are a match for anyone in England and potentially anyone in Europe.
Wilshere in particular was excellent and, just days after he was sent off against Birmingham, he rounded off a wonderful recovery with an exquisitely-worked one-two with Tomas Rosicky for his first goal of the season.
“I am convinced it works well together with Jack and Cesc,” said Wenger. “They combined very well and Jack has a good maturity level for 18.”
Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov made a terrible mess of a first-half corner, allowing Johann Djourou to set up Song to scramble the ball home the first from close range in the 19th minute.
Arsenal, with Fabregas back in action after a hamstring problem, appeared slightly subdued at first but following a quiet spell against nervous opponents they effectively sealed the points three minutes before the break.
This time Song’s ball across the box was expertly collected by Nasri who moved the ball onto his left foot and smashed home an effort that flew past the helpless Pyatov for his sixth of the season.
The game was all but over when Adriano needlessly put Djourou in a headlock to give away a penalty after 60 minutes.
Fabregas made no mistake from the spot, revealing a message on his shirt to wish his mother Happy Birthday.
It was virtually the Spaniard’s last kick of the game as he was substituted soon after.
His departure coincided with the arrival of Shakhtar sub Eduardo, who was given an emotional ovation by Arsenal fans on his return to the club; but not even he could save his team as Arsenal scored a superbly-worked fourth through Wilshere.
Chamakh then rolled a rather apologetic fifth nine minutes later as Shakhtar appealed for offside — and the Ukrainians’ fate was sealed – although there was still time for Eduardo to volley a goal that was greeted with one of the loudest cheers of the night.
Subs for Arsenal: Denilson for Fabregas 63, Arshavin for Nasri 72, Walcott for Chamakh 72.
Subs for Shakhtar Donetsk: Douglas Costa for Willian 46, Eduardo for Luiz Adriano 63, Jadson for Gai 68.