Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has acknowledged that his team’s humiliating performance against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Monday was “nowhere near” Champions League level.
Arsenal needed to take all three points home from St James’ Park following Tottenham Hotspur’s victory against Burnley to guarantee that fourth place remained in their hands coming into the final day.
The Gunners, however, were immediately dominated by the Magpies’ press and fell 2-0.
“Newcastle deserved to win the match and were much better than us. We had nothing in the game. They were much better in every department and we were poor with the ball,” Arteta told Sky Sports News.
“A lot of things happened during the game, like substitutions for injuries, but it’s not an excuse because they were much better than us.
“It’s true that we could not cope with the game that we had to play here. We tried to change some things but it didn’t make it better. We had moments where we looked better but then the execution was so poor and the goals we gave away were extremely poor.
“It’s extremely disappointing that Newcastle were 10 times better than us and the performance was nowhere near the level we need to be at if we want to play in the Champions League.
“I am incredibly disappointed. It’s a very painful one. It was in our hands and today it’s not in our hands. We have to beat Everton and wait for Norwich to beat Spurs. There’s always a tiny chance in football.”
In order for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League on the last day, they must hope that bottom-placed Norwich City beat Tottenham Hotspur while they try to beat Everton at the Emirates.