Arsenal has suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat to Newcastle that leaves their Champions League dreams all but over. A second-half own goal from Benjamin White and a Bruno Guimaraes strike were enough to secure the three points.
Mikel Arteta made a couple of changes to the side that lost 3-0 to Tottenham last time out. White returned, Nuno Tavares replaced Cedric, and Emile Smith Rowe came into the starting XI at the expense of Gabriel Martinelli. Arsenal started the game horribly, barely about to string two passes together in the opening 20 minutes as Newcastle dominated every facet of the game.
Corner after corner and attack after attack, Arsenal could not get on the ball as Eddie Nketiah, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe were all starved of opportunities as the home side recorded 66.6% possession.
It was tough going for Arsenal as Newcastle dominated the opening 45 minutes. However, if there was one positive at half-time, it was that the Gunners didn’t concede.
Newcastle 2-0 Arsenal: 3 talking points as Mikel Arteta’s side hand Premier League top four initiative over to Tottenham
Sadly, the second half started in the same manner as the first, with Arteta not wasting time making a change with Smith Rowe making way for Gabriel Martinelli with just 52 minutes gone.
Newcastle eventually got their goal just minutes later, with Callum Wilson seeming to poke home from close range after a delightful cross from Joelinton. It was then soon changed to a White own goal as it turned out the defender got the crucial touch.
It was a horrendous all-round performance from Arsenal and, with six minutes to go, Newcastle doubled their lead. Guimaraes lashed home his shot after Aaron Ramsdale denied Wilson again to leave Arsenal’s Champions League hopes in tatters.
In a game where the Gunners deserved nothing, they got nothing. Here are the talking points.
Champions League Dream Over
A couple of days ago Arsenal had it all in their own hands. They headed into the north London derby four points clear of their bitter rivals. But after two embarrassing defeats, the dream of returning to the Champions League is all but over just days later.
With the loss to Newcastle, Arsenal is now two points behind Tottenham with a single game to play. Spurs are away at Norwich while the Gunners host Everton.
Yes, that means that bottom of the table Norwich, with just five wins all season, need to beat Tottenham in order for Arsenal to stand any chance. Not draw with them, actually beat them.
So much was expected of the run-in and Arsenal has failed – and failed miserably. It was all in their hands; win at Spurs to secure top four, they let is slip. Win at Newcastle to still have it in their hands, they let it slip.
In embarrassing fashion, too.
Now the club relies on Spurs losing to bottom-placed Norwich while needing a win over Everton, something also known as a miracle. It is still a possibility, but Arsenal’s hopes of returning to the promised land are all but over.
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