- Newcastle beat Arsenal 2-0 at the St.James Park to put a huge dent on Arsenal’s hopes of making a comeback to the Champions League after a five-year absence
- Ben White scored into his net with Bruno Guimaraes adding a second one late on to leave Arsenal requiring results from elsewhere on the final matchday to finish in the top four
- Callum Wilson marked his return from injury with a man-of-the-match performance as he constantly put Arsenal on their toes
Arsenal suffered a huge setback in their quest to qualify for the Champions League when they went 2-0 to Newcastle United on Monday night. Ben White scored an own goal as Bruno Guimaraes added a second one to condemn Arsenal to a second successive loss.
Newcastle were the better team of the two sides as Arsenal looked out of sorts. Callum Wilson started a Premier League game for the first time in over three months and was a constant menace on Arsenal’s backline.
Aaron Ramsdale had a few misplaced passes and was lucky to get away with one with Wilson charging down at him. He then dived low to his right to save an Allan Saint-Maximin effort before halftime.
Arsenal’s only threat in the first half came through a neat exchange of passes between Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka but Newcastle stood firm. Mikel Arteta’s defensive problems were compounded when Takehiro Tomiyasu went down clutching his calf. The Japanese international was replaced by Cedric Soares.
Fabian Schar suffered a nasty collision at the start of the second half and had to pave way for Jamal Lascelles. A bad throw from Nuno Tavares was quickly turned into Newcastle's favour.
Joelinton charged on the left-hand side before releasing a teasing cross into the box. Ben White ended up turning the goal into his net to put Newcastle on the front foot.
Arteta's substitutions did not bear any fruit
Mikel Arteta withdrew defensive players and put on Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe but the equalizer wasn’t forthcoming. Martin Dubravka remained largely untested in the Arsenal goal area.
Bruno Guimaraes then stepped up to capitalize on a loose ball to complete Arsenal’s misery. Sean Longstaff chipped a wonderful ball over Arsenal’s defence which was repelled by Ramsdale. Guimaraes pounced on the rebound, hammering in a low shot for Newcastle’s second.
This loss now means that Arsenal will have to beat Everton in the final matchday and hope Tottenham lose to Norwich. The loss is also a blessing in disguise for Chelsea as the outgoing European champions have now confirmed their place in next season’s Champions League.
Mikel Arteta blasts referee after the North London Derby
Sports Brief recently reported that Mikel Arteta questioned match referee Paul Tierney for his decisions in Arsenal's defeat to Tottenham.
Tierney gave Spurs a penalty for a Cedric Soares push on Heung-min Son before giving Rob Holding his marching orders in the 27th minute