Football

Arsenal suffers Champions League blow after Newcastle 2:0 defeat

Newcastle beats Arsenal 2:0 at St James Park. Photo: Eurosport
  • Newcastle defeated Arsenal 2-0, which means the Gunners will require Spurs to lose to Norwich for Arsenal to revive their hopes of finishing fourth
  • The home team dominated the first half. Aaron Ramsdale makes an outstanding save to deny Allan Saint-Maximin
  • The Gunners made a better start to the second half but were undone when Ben White turned the ball into his own net
  • Bruno Guimaraes put the game out of reach with five minutes remaining in standard time

Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four in the Premier League were dashed when Newcastle soundly defeated them at St James’ Park.

Mikel Arteta’s side needed the win to move above Tottenham into fourth place and put them in pole position to secure a Champions League spot heading into the season’s final weekend.

Arteta looked disappointed with the Arsenals defeat. Photo: Sports Bible

Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four in the Premier League were dashed when Newcastle soundly defeated them at St James’ Park.

After Newcastle scored the game’s first goal early in the second half, Mikel Arteta turned and retreated to his dugout. A season’s worth of work was being thrown away, and there was no one to blame but himself and his team.

Last Thursday, it appeared that Arsenal’s failure at Tottenham was entirely the referee’s fault. This time, no. No, this time, it was all about the team.

Arsenal was utterly incompetent with the season on the line and a place in the Champions League.

If Tottenham avoids defeat at Norwich on Sunday, they will finish fourth, while Arsenal will look back on this night and wonder how they could have played so poorly.

By the width of the Bigg Market, Newcastle was the superior team. Their first goal was the game-winner, coming from the boot of visiting defender Ben White after Arsenal had lost possession with a foul throw. 

However, there might have been more goals besides the one driven to death by Bruno Guimaraes.

Eddie Howe’s team was far too good, eager, and daring for an Arsenal team that appeared to be out of gas, courage, and ideas.

Arteta’s season has been one of progression, but this was a performance from the bad old days, and what a time to deliver it.

Arsenal’s defeat at Tottenham last week had been numbing, and they began this game as if they were still trying to shake it out of their system.

Newcastle, playing freely now that relegation has long since vanished from their vocabulary, appeared to be the team with everything to play for.

Arsenal was without Rob Holding after he was sent off against Tottenham, and Arteta benched the other villain of the piece, Cedric Soares.

Arsenal’s loss to Newcastle is an advantage to Spurs as the two clubs are chasing the fourth position. Photo: Fotmob

However, this was a strong Arsenal team. It simply did not get off to a strong start, and Newcastle dominated them for long periods early on.

Midfield trio Sean Longstaff, Joelinton, and Guimaraes were at its heart. They created a platform from which Howe’s team could attack, and Arsenal appeared uneasy, even nervous, under the spotlight.

Arsenal provided next to nothing, with Martin Dubravka being tested only once, with a 25-yard Mohamed Elneny shot in the second half.

Indeed, Newcastle could have won by more, with Wilson coming so close to capping a dream comeback from injury with a stunning long-range effort that went just wide.

The result, which also confirmed Chelsea’s top-four finish, means Arsenal must win their final game against Everton on Sunday (16:00 BST) and hope Tottenham loses at relegated Norwich.

Meanwhile, Newcastle will conclude a season that has given them hope for the future with a trip to Burnley.

 

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