Arsenal lose to Newcastle: Five things we learned as Tottenham handed top four advantage
In pictures: Newcastle v Arsenal
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Arsenal were defeated 2-0 by Newcastle at St James Park after an own goal from Ben White was followed by a Bruno Guimaraes strike to potentially end Mikel Arteta’s Champions League dream. The result means that Tottenham are two points clear of their north London rivals with one game left in the season – but what did we learn?
Tottenham defeat rankles
The lasting impact of that crushing defeat to Tottenham last week has yet to be banished at Arsenal where it appears that they have had that playing on their minds ever since. The Gunners were sloppy all over the pitch and failed to match the pace of Newcastle’s attack.
It was a remarkably similar performance to their 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace last month where the Gunners were totally outplayed. It means that Tottenham now have the chance to stay above them in fourth going into the final match of the season.
Arsenal defence in tatters
The injury to Takehiro Tomiyasu has the Gunners down to the bare bones at the back where Ben White and Gabriel are also carrying problems. It was remarkable that they could make it through the match relatively unscathed after being rushed back.
Arteta does not really a choice, though, with no senior options left in the squad with Champions League football in the offing. It means that the Spaniard is taking a huge gamble but there is just one game left to think about this season.
Martin Odegaard arguably had one of his most disappointing nights in the Premier League after failing to make much of an impression. Primed as Arsenal’s main creator, the Norwegian managed just five passes in the first-half.
Newcastle completely shut the former Real Madrid man out of the match – and he now might be readying himself for a season in the Europa League now.
Smith Rowe out of form
This has been a fine season for Emile Smith Rowe who has broken into the Arsenal team to become a key player for Arteta. However, the attacking midfielder has been off the boil in recent weeks.
Monday night was another difficult night for the 21-year-old, who came off just 6 minutes into the second-half. It means he has just one goal contribution since 20 February in all competitions – not good news for the Gunners at this time of the season.
Arteta needs to spend some cash
When things were not working out on the pitch, Arteta had to turn to Nicolas Pepe – who cost the club £72million – but has been a huge flop. And the Ivorian, who will surely be on the way out this summer, was hugely ineffective – even nearly gifting Newcastle another goal.
It is no secret that Arteta wants to splash the cash in the summer transfer window with a striker in his sights but the lack of suitable squad depth has hurt Arsenal throughout the season. The Spaniard has already spent some dough but it is not enough and there is plenty of work still to do.
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