The top four contests may have just been decided last night when Mikel Arteta and Arsenal slumped at St. James Park Stadium, England last night where they lost an emphatic game to Newcastle United in their pursuit for European first-tier competition next season. Tottenham goes two points ahead of Arsenal in fourth place, and Chelsea’s qualifications were confirmed last night.
Arsenal last featured in the Champions League in the 2016-17 season during the Arsenal Wenger era. The Gunners have not played in the competition for five years now under all the managers recruited to replace the longest-serving Arsenal serving manager in history. They crashed out of the Champions League in the round of 16 losing both legs to Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich by 5-1.
Arsenal was held to a barren draw during the first half encounter. Cedric was first off through injury and was replaced by Tomiyasu. Ten minutes into the second half, Arsenal defender Benjamin White’s horrible own goal gave Newcastle a 1-0 lead, Bruno Guimaraes scored to double Newcastle’s lead by 2-0.
With two points adrift Tottenham, Arsenal can only qualify with a 14-0 win over Everton and Tottenham must maintain any form of drawing. Antonio Conte’s dream is to return Tottenham to the UEFA Champions League next season. Chelsea, the top, was confirmed last night with 70 points acquired meaning they can go below Arsenal.
Granit Xhaka in his word after the game as gathered by The News Chronicle said:
“It’s difficult to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90th, we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.
“I can’t explain to you why. We didn’t do what the game plan was, not listening to the coach. What happened was a disaster performance. You don’t deserve to play in the Champions League or even Europa League. It’s very hard to take it at the moment.
“I don’t know why we’re not doing what the coach is asking for us.”
“If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home. It doesn’t matter your age. If you’re nervous, stay on the bench or stay at home. You need people to have the balls to come here and play. It’s one of the most important games for us. We’re feeling very disappointed for the people who came over here.
“Sorry to them [fans], I don’t have any other words.
“The dressing room is very quiet. The game plan was different from what we did over 90 minutes.
“We have been waiting for six years. We had everything in our hands. We looked like we were in the position where Newcastle are and they were where we are.”