Arsenal’s Champions League hopes are all but OVER after a dismal display at Newcastle, leaving them two points behind fourth placed Tottenham with one game remaining.
Tottenham virtually solidified their place in the Champion’s League after Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four were dealt a heavy blow at the hands of Newcastle at St James’ Park.
A victory for Arsenal was imperative for Mikel Arteta’s team to move above Tottenham into fourth, strapping them firmly into the driving seat for a secured Champions League spot; heading into the final weekend of the season.
Two massive Premier League upsets in a row now mean they MUST win on the final day at home to Everton, and HOPE Spurs lose away at Norwich. (Hope is not a strategy)
Newcastle were much the better team, ploughing at every first and second ball.
Arsenal fell behind early in the second half courtesy of a Ben White own goal, overlooked and vetted by the vivacious Callum Wilson, who was making his first start since the 27th of December.
Their introduction to White’s crucial finish left a sour taste for Mikel Arteta, as he quickly sought solace in the ‘comfort’ of his dugout. A facade unraveled, a season’s work being relinquished from a youthful and inexperienced team.
With none left to blame but himself.
Arteta’s claims of last Thursday’s defeat to Tottenham being a reflection of the referee’s incompetencies surely hold very little validity today. Their claim to being a ‘Top Four’ team is supported merely by ‘history’ and has very little to do with their true efficiency. Simply put, they were outplayed by a team that showed more hunger and quality.
Wilson had been a menace throughout the game, a constant reminder to the Arsenal defenders of the imminent dangers they faced.
In his post-match interview he spoke of his love for the game, making mention of his awareness of both Ben White and Gabriel’s respective injuries, and his willingness to exploit just that.
It was no surprise he was involved in the opener as White turned the ball into his own net, attempting to prevent the Newcastle forward from finishing the cross himself.
Bruno Guimaraes, Newcastle’s joint top goal scorer drove home the final dagger.
Eddie Howe’s team were far too good for a team seemingly out of gas. A team lacking any true actionable ideas, a dismal looking Arsenal.
The result also confirmed Chelsea’s finish in the top four, which technically means it’s not looking so good for Arsenal (lol).