Mikel Arteta slammed his Arsenal players and admitted they were ‘nowhere near Champions League level’ after a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle left their top-four dreams in tatters. A Ben White own goal and a late Bruno Guimaraes strike condemned the Gunners to a loss which keeps them in fifth position in the Premier League, two points behind Tottenham with one game to play. Arsenal must now beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and hope that Spurs lose at Norwich, given the superior goal difference of their North London rivals.
Arteta’s side needed a win to move above Tottenham into fourth and put them in the driving seat to secure a Champions League spot heading into the final weekend of the season. But they were second best throughout and fell behind early in the second half when White turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Callum Wilson, who was making his first start since 27 December. Guimaraes, who has become a cult hero since joining Newcastle at the start of this year, then rounded off the impressive win when he drove into the net as Arsenal struggled to clear. Arsenal offered next to nothing, with Martin Dubravka only really tested 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 return from injury with a stunning long-range effort that dropped just wide of the goal. The result, which also confirmed Chelsea’s finish in the top four. Newcastle, meanwhile, round off a season that provides encouragement for the future with a trip to Burnley.