Arsenal no longer controls their destiny to qualify for the Champions League.
A 2-0 loss to Newcastle on Monday opens the door for Tottenham, their fierce north London rival, to break into the top four of the English Premier League and gain access to Europe’s top club tournament.
Heading into Sunday’s final matchday, Tottenham are in fourth place, two points ahead of Arsenal, now fifth. It will be enough for the Spurs to defeat Norwich to seal their ticket in the Champions League. Norwich has already been relegated to relegation.
Given that Tottenham have a wide goal difference in their favour, a tie would also reach them against the bottom of the table.
Arsenal host Everton at the same time and they know that victory would not be enough to return them to the Champions League after a five-year absence.
Newcastle’s intensity at St. James’ Park was too much for Arsenal’s inexperienced eleven put in by manager Mikel Arteta.
The hosts’ siege led to Ben White’s own goal in the 55th minute. The Arsenal centre-back dug the ball into his own net as he tried to deflect a cross from the left by Brazilian midfielder Joelinton.
Bruno Guimarães, another Brazilian midfielder, put definitive figures at 85 by capitalizing on the rebound left by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal capitulated under the pressure of playing their biggest game of the season and suffered their second defeat in a span of five days. They came from losing on Thursday 3-0 away to Tottenham.
“We couldn’t keep up,” said Arteta, who described Newcastle as “10 times better” than his team.
“The performance was far from the level needed to play in the Champions League,” he added.
The result also ensured that Chelsea, now third, will finish in the top four and go to the Champions League.
It was Newcastle’s last home game of the season, and the atmosphere at their stadium proved too hostile for an Arsenal side that had both White and his partner Gabriel at center back physically injured. To add insult to injury, right back Takehiro Tomiyasu retired injured in the first half.