A rersenal’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four were dealt a huge blow as they were well beaten by Newcastle at St James’ Park.
Mikel Arteta’s side needed a win to move above Tottenham into fourth and put them in the driving seat to secure a Champions League spot heading into the final weekend of the season.
But they were second best throughout and fell behind early in the second half when Ben White turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Callum Wilson, who was making his first start since 27 December.
Bruno Guimaraes, who has become a cult hero since joining Newcastle at the start of this year, then rounded off the impressive win when he drove into the net as Arsenal struggled to clear.
Arsenal offered next to nothing, with Martin Dubravka only really tested once, with a 25-yard Mohamed Elneny shot in the second half.
Indeed, Newcastle could have won by more with Wilson coming so close to capping a dream return from injury with a stunning long-range effort that dropped just wide of the goal.
The result, which also confirmed Chelsea’s finish in the top four, means Arsenal must beat Everton in their final game of the season on Sunday (16:00 BST) and hope Tottenham lose at relegated Norwich.
Newcastle, meanwhile, round off a season that provides encouragement for the future with a trip to Burnley.
After the match, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta showed his level of disappointment while speaking with BBC Sport reporters.
“Incredibly disappointed. The way we started to the finish, Newcastle were better. They deserved to win by a mile. It’s a really difficult one to accept.
“We have to cope with those nights [including the defeat by Spurs] and we didn’t cope with those nights.
“We haven’t been able to deal with situations throughout the season. The squad suffered a lot with injuries but that can’t be an excuse.
“Newcastle were 100 times better than us.
“The way we competed today [was disappointing].
“In every department you have to earn the right to play and we didn’t do it.
“We have to put our head down and accept the performance was nowhere near the standard required for the Champions League.
“From tomorrow we’ll prepare for Everton. It’s still mathematically possible.”
“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. 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.
“It’s extremely disappointing that Newcastle were 10 times better than us and the performane was nowhere near the level we need to be at if we want to play in the Champions League.
“I am incredibly disappointed. It’s a very painful one. It was in our hands and today it’s not in our hands. We have to beat Everton and wait for Norwich to beat Spurs. There’s always a tiny chance in football.”
Adapted from BBC