Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta couldn’t disguise his dismay after his team lost 2-0 at Newcastle, giving north London rivals Tottenham the upper hand in the race for a top-four finish.
The Magpies were the better team throughout the encounter at St James’ Park, and thanks to a Ben White own goal and Bruno Guimaraes’ score, they earned a deserved three points.
Mikel Arteta revealed to Sky Sports after the game that his team had been “very awful,” with the Spaniard looking baffled as to why his team’s performance had been so labored in such a crucial game.
“Newcastle deserved to win the game and were clearly superior to us.” “We didn’t have anything in the game,” Arteta admitted.
“They were superior in every category, while we struggled with the ball.” Many things happened throughout the game, such as injury substitutions, but it is no justification because they were far superior to us.
“It’s true that we couldn’t handle the game we were forced to play here. We tried to make several changes, but they didn’t help. We had moments where we looked better, but our execution was terrible, and the goals we gave up were embarrassing.
“It’s incredibly disheartening that Newcastle was ten times better than us, and our performance was nowhere near the standard required to compete in the Champions League.”
“I am quite dissatisfied. It’s a difficult one. It was in our hands before, and now it isn’t. We must defeat Everton while waiting for Norwich to defeat Tottenham. In football, there’s always a slim chance.”
Arsenal must now hope for a slip-up from Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur, who face-relegated Norwich on the last day of the season. Meanwhile, Everton will visit the Emirates Stadium, with Frank Lampard’s side potentially fighting for their Premier League survival if they fail to overcome Crystal Palace on Thursday.