Arsenal loses as Spurs becomes favorite for EPL top-4 spot

AP , Monday 16 May 2022

Arsenal no longer has Champions League qualification in its own hands.

Newcastle United s Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes celebrates scoring the team s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on May 16, 2022. AFP

A 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Monday saw Arsenal relinquish the initiative in its fight with fierce north London rival Tottenham for a finish in the English Premier League's top four and a return to Europe's top competition.

Heading into the final round on Sunday, Tottenham occupies fourth place _ two points above Arsenal in fifth _ and just needs to beat Norwich to guarantee a top-four spot. Norwich has already been relegated and is in last place.

Arsenal will host Everton at the same time and knows a win still might not be enough to get back in the Champions League after a five-year absence.

Newcastle's intensity at a rocking St. James' Park proved too much for Mikel Arteta's young Arsenal team, with the hosts well on top by the time Ben White turned the ball into his own net in the 55th minute as he stretched to clear a left-wing cross from Joelinton.

Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes ensured there would be no way back for Arsenal by adding the second in the 85th, sidefooting home a loose ball after it rebounded to him off goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal slumped to a second damaging defeat in a five-day span, having also lost at Tottenham 3-0 on Thursday.

The result meant Chelsea, in third place, was sure of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.

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