Arsenal dropped crucial points in their quest for Champions League qualification after a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Monday night.

It was always going to be a difficult assignment for Arteta’s men at St James’ Park and they never looked quite ready. Newcastle dominated the ball in the first half and at one point, registered a staggering 70% possession. Despite dominating the ball, chances were hard to come by. Allan Saint-Maximin’s low drive was the best effort of the opening 45 minutes.

Newcastle’s Performance 

For pretty much the entire game, Newcastle looked like the better side. It didn’t quite seem like there was a gulf between these two teams. Newcastle’s superiority finally paid dividends 10 minutes into the second half when Arsenal’s Ben White turned Joelinton’s low cross from the left into his own net.

Eddie Howe’s side continued to attack and doubled their lead with five minutes to play through Bruno Guimaraes. The Brazilian reacted quickly to put the ball into an empty net after an Aaron Ramsdale save. Ramsdale smothered a Callum Wilson effort but only into the path of Guimares who had an easy task. 

The result means Tottenham Hotspur are two points ahead of Arsenal with one game left for both sides. Tottenham gained vital ground on Arsenal with a 3-0 derby victory over Mikel Arteta’s side on Thursday. In the final game of the campaign on Sunday, Spurs travel to bottom-club Norwich City, while Arsenal host Everton. Tottenham’s superior goal difference (+15) essentially means they require only a draw at Norwich to finish fourth.

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The defeat for Arsenal also means third-placed Chelsea have qualified for next season’s Champions League. Chelsea were four points clear of Arsenal before the Newcastle game and Thomas Tuchel’s side can no longer be caught by their London rivals.

Newcastle sit 12th in the Premier League on 46 points. They could still finish in the top half with a win against Burnley on Sunday.