Arsenal news: The Gunners suffered a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday, May 17.
A Ben White own goal and an 85th-minute strike by Bruno Guimaraes secured all three points for Tyne and Wear side.
The Toons outplayed Mikel Arteta’s side in every departure, recording 51% of ball possession during the game. Eddie Howe’s side also had 16 shots on goal as compared to Arsenal’s 11.
The Gunners are now two points behind Tottenham Hotspur in the league table with just one game to play. Spurs just need a draw during their final game of the season against Norwich given their superior goal difference.
Arsenal news: Mikel Arteta admits Newcastle dominated his side in every department of the game
Speaking to the media on Monday, Mikel Arteta claimed that Newcastle United dominated Arsenal in every department of the game on Monday.
He said: “The performance was nowhere near the level we need to be at if we want to play in the Champions League.
Normally, I will always defend my players. Not tonight, it is too difficult. Newcastle was 100 times better than us in every department, from the beginning to end. It is hard to accept, but that’s the reality.”
Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle United since taking charge in November 2021. The Toons are currently among the most in-form teams in the EPL, winning four of their last six league fixtures.
Has the Gunners’ striking shortage cost them Champions League place?
The Gunners struggled in front of goals throughout the season. They have managed to score just 56 goals in 37 fixtures this season, the lowest among the teams currently in the Premier League’s ‘top-six’.
They lost their skipper Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to Barcelona in January, which significantly affected their attacking output. Arteta has mostly relied on Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe for goals this season, none of whom are out-to-out forwards.
The Gunners are also on the verge of losing Alexandre Laccazette and Eddie Nketaih – both of whom are currently in the final year of their respective contracts. As things stand, Gabriel Martinelli will be the only senior striker at Mikel Arteta’s disposal at the start of next season. Signing a new number 9 will be among the top priorities for the Spaniard during the upcoming transfer window.
They have linked with Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus in recent weeks, along with Lille’s Jonathan David and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Nevertheless, the lack of firepower in front of the goal has heavily affected their chances to play in next season’s UCL this term.