Arsenal saw their dream of playing in next season’s Champions League slip through their hands after they were defeated 2-0 by Newcastle at the saint James park.
The result means Tottenham is in a good position to finish ahead of Arsenal in the top-four race. as it stands Tottenham is two points ahead of Arsenal with one Premier League remaining. Antonio Conte’s side will face Norwich City on the final day of the Premier League.
Arteta’s side had their hopes of a top-four finish in their hands weeks ago when they defeated Manchester United, Chelsea, and West Ham to move four points clear of Tottenham and two points with third-place Chelsea.
After two successive defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United, Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish are almost impossible with their last Premier League game coming against Everton who is also fighting with Leeds United and Burnley for a place in the Premier League next season.
Mikel Arteta seemed disappointed in his player and admitted Newcastle United was the better side and deserve to win. Newcastle United defeated Arsenal 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Bruno Guimaraes and an own goal by Ben White.
What was said?
Arteta told Sky Sport after the game admitted Newcastle was the better side and deserved the victory.
He said: “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 was 10 times better than us and the performance 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 [now] 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.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka believes Arsenal was embarrassing to watch and didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.
He told Sky Sports: 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.
“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 the Champions League or even Europa League. It’s very hard to take it at the moment.
“It’s difficult to find the right words. From the first minute to the 90th we didn’t deserve to be on the pitch.”
Arsenal will pray that Norwich will stun Tottenham on the final Premier League day if they want to qualify for the Champions League.
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