EPL: Arsenal lose grounds in top 4 race after defeat to Newcastle
Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are now out of their hands after they slumped to a deserved 2-0 defeat to an inspired Newcastle at St James’ Park.
The Gunners went into the game knowing a win – combined with another three points at home to Everton on the Premier League’s final day on Sunday – would have guaranteed their return to the competition for the first time since the 2016/17 season.
It seemed it was Wilson who gave Newcastle the lead after 56 minutes when Joelinton’s low cross from the left was turned into the net at Ramsdale’s near post, and the England international wheeled away in celebration as the St James’ Park crowd – raucous all evening – rose in delirium.
But it quickly became clear that White, playing his first game in nearly a month, had deflected the ball past his own goalkeeper as he desperately sought to keep the ball away from the waiting Wilson.
Newcastle didn’t have to wait long to make sure of their impressive win, and Wilson unsurprisingly played a crucial role, with Ramsdale’s save at the Newcastle man’s feet falling for Bruno Guimaraes, who struck the ball into the empty net.
Arsenal will now need to beat Frank Lampard’s Toffees at the weekend and hope Tottenham lose at bottom side Norwich, given their north London rivals are two points better off and have a far superior goal difference.
Arsenal’s defeat also ensures Chelsea – who are four points clear of their London rivals – will finish in the top four for the sixth season in a row.
It has been a demoralising turnaround for the Gunners, who this time last week were firmly in control of fourth place thanks to a four-point lead over Spurs with just three matches left to play.