Arsenal’s Champions League hopes took another major hit on Monday as a 2-0 loss to Newcastle United left them trailing Tottenham Hotspur by two points with just one game left in the Premier League season.

Arsenal’s loss to Tottenham last Thursday, combined with a Spurs win over Burnley on Sunday, left Mikel Arteta’s side trailing their north London rivals in the table and in desperate need of three points at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle started brightly, roared on by their fans in their last home game of the season. They came close to scoring in the 37th minute through Allan Saint-Maximin, who cut in from the wing to the edge of area, but saw his low shot palmed away by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The sides traded half-chances throughout a scoreless opening 45 minutes that saw Newcastle dominate possession and Arsenal register more shots on goal.

Newcastle found their opener shortly after the restart with Arsenal defender Ben White redirecting the ball into his own net from Joelinton’s cross with Callum Wilson applying pressure on a quick-hitting counter-attack by the hosts.

Arsenal poured forward in search of goals — with even a draw doing them few favours in the top-four race — leaving them exposed at the back and conceding a deserved second to Newcastle when Bruno Guimaraes pounced on a loose ball in the area and fired into an open net.

Arsenal, stuck in fifth place on 66 points, will need a win against Everton at the Emirates on Sunday and a loss to relegated Norwich City by fourth-placed Tottenham to move back into the UCL spots.

Arteta conceded after the match that his side were deservedly beaten.

“Newcastle deserved to win the match and were much better than us. We had nothing in the game. They were much better in every department and we were poor with the ball,” he told Sky Sports. “A lot of things happened during the game, like substitutions for injuries, but it’s not an excuse because they were much better than us.

“It’s true that we could not cope with the game that we had to play here. We tried to change some things but it didn’t make it better. We had moments where we looked better but then the execution was so poor and the goals we gave away were extremely poor.”

The win, Newcastle’s first in the league over Arsenal since April 2018, means Eddie Howe’s side move up to 12th in the standings having been in the bottom three at Christmas.


Courtesy: ESPN

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