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Newcastle 2-0 Arsenal: Gunners' top-four hopes dealt huge blow with loss

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Ben White
Ben White was making his return to the starting XI after recovering from injury

Arsenal'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.

Newcastle 2-0 Arsenal: Mikel Arteta admits Newcastle deserved win "by a mile"

Arsenal needed to show up but failed

Arsenal needed a big performance if they were to give their fans hope of finishing in the top four, particuarly after they were well beaten by their fierce rivals Tottenham in last Thursday's north London derby.

Unfortunately, Arteta's side wilted when it mattered most as they were outplayed by Newcastle.

The Gunners were poor throughout the first half as they repeatedly gave the ball away and were having to repel a stream of Newcastle attacks while struggling to build their own opportunities.

They managed to get to get to half-time level but did not heed the warning signs and fell behind just before the hour mark.

Wilson had been a menace throughout as he showed no signs of rustiness on his return to the first team. It was no surprise he was involved in the opener as White turned the ball into his own net as he attempted to prevent the Newcastle forward from getting a shot off.

Arteta was unable to hide his frustrations with the officiating against Spurs - a match in which his team conceded a penalty and had defender Rob Holding sent off - but he can have no complaints here as they were undone by a side who simply showed more hunger and quality.

Newcastle 2-0 Arsenal: Eddie Howe pleased with 'aggressive' Newcastle

Player of the match

WilsonCallum Wilson

with an average of 8.75

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number9Player nameWilson
    Average rating

    8.75

  2. Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães
    Average rating

    8.65

  3. Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
    Average rating

    8.53

  4. Squad number13Player nameTargett
    Average rating

    8.15

  5. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
    Average rating

    8.11

  6. Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin
    Average rating

    8.03

  7. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    7.94

  8. Squad number5Player nameSchär
    Average rating

    7.83

  9. Squad number6Player nameLascelles
    Average rating

    7.77

  10. Squad number21Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    7.76

  11. Squad number36Player nameS Longstaff
    Average rating

    7.74

  12. Squad number17Player nameKrafth
    Average rating

    7.67

  13. Squad number23Player nameMurphy
    Average rating

    7.65

  14. Squad number1Player nameDúbravka
    Average rating

    7.44

  15. Squad number34Player nameGayle
    Average rating

    7.31

Arsenal

  1. Squad number32Player nameRamsdale
    Average rating

    3.73

  2. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating

    3.25

  3. Squad number8Player nameØdegaard
    Average rating

    3.23

  4. Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu
    Average rating

    3.18

  5. Squad number35Player nameGabriel Martinelli
    Average rating

    3.10

  6. Squad number4Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    3.09

  7. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
    Average rating

    3.08

  8. Squad number25Player nameMohamed Elneny
    Average rating

    3.01

  9. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    2.93

  10. Squad number30Player nameNketiah
    Average rating

    2.90

  11. Squad number20Player nameNuno Tavares
    Average rating

    2.78

  12. Squad number10Player nameSmith Rowe
    Average rating

    2.76

  13. Squad number17Player nameCédric Soares
    Average rating

    2.54

  14. Squad number9Player nameLacazette
    Average rating

    2.51

  15. Squad number19Player namePépé
    Average rating

    2.16

Line-ups

Newcastle

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Dúbravka
  • 17Krafth
  • 5SchärSubstituted forLascellesat 49'minutes
  • 33Burn
  • 13Targett
  • 36S Longstaff
  • 39Guimarães Rodriguez Moura
  • 7Joelinton
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forMurphyat 76'minutes
  • 9WilsonSubstituted forGayleat 90+4'minutes
  • 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forFraserat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Dummett
  • 6Lascelles
  • 11Ritchie
  • 15Trippier
  • 18Fernández
  • 21Fraser
  • 23Murphy
  • 26Darlow
  • 34Gayle

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 32Ramsdale
  • 18TomiyasuSubstituted forCédric Soaresat 39'minutes
  • 4WhiteBooked at 8mins
  • 6GabrielSubstituted forPépéat 73'minutes
  • 20TavaresSubstituted forLacazetteat 62'minutes
  • 25Elneny
  • 34XhakaBooked at 90mins
  • 7Saka
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 10Smith RoweSubstituted forMartinelliat 53'minutes
  • 30NketiahBooked at 47mins

Substitutes

  • 1Leno
  • 9Lacazette
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 19Pépé
  • 23Sambi Lokonga
  • 35Martinelli
  • 65Oulad M'hand
  • 69Swanson
  • 87Patino
Referee:
Darren England
Attendance:
52,274

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home16
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home12
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 2, Arsenal 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 2, Arsenal 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Sean Longstaff.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dwight Gayle.

  5. Booking

    Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Dwight Gayle replaces Callum Wilson.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cédric Soares (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mohamed Elneny.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Dan Burn.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Benjamin White.

  12. Post update

    Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal).

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Newcastle United 2, Arsenal 0. Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum Wilson.

  16. Post update

    Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal).

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eddie Nketiah.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Martin Dúbravka.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Joelinton (Newcastle United).

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