Arsenal settle for Europa League despite crushing Everton2 min read
Arsenal ended their season with a 5-1 victory over Everton, but it was not enough to seal Champions League qualification.
Mike Arteta’s team needed a slip-up from Tottenham at already relegated Norwich City to have any hope of sealing a top-four finish on Sunday.
Arsenal did their bit against a much-changed Everton team, Gabriel Martinelli getting things started with a 27th-minute penalty and Eddie Nketiah scoring soon after.
Goals from Cedric Soares and Gabriel Magalhaes followed, after Donny van de Beek netted his first Everton goal on what is likely to be his final appearance, but Spurs’ easy 5-0 win at Carrow Road rendered Arsenal’s efforts meaningless as they finished fifth, in a Europa League spot, with Martin Odegaard simply adding further gloss late on.
Arsenal dominated from the off, having four shots in the opening 10 minutes before Martinelli struck straight at Asmir Begovic.
Everton’s resolve was punctured when former Arsenal man Alex Iwobi was penalised by VAR for blocking a shot with his upper arm – Martinelli drilling in the resulting spot-kick.
Arsenal’s dominance profited a second four minutes later, with Everton’s set-piece frailties exposed as Nketiah nodded in from a corner.
Bukayo Saka shot wide at the end of a counter and the Gunners were punished for not putting the game beyond doubt when substitute Van de Beek tapped home after fantastic work from reported Arsenal target Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Arsenal restored their two-goal cushion 11 minutes after the restart – Everton once again switching off from a corner, with the unmarked Cedric sweeping home.
Gabriel was then allowed to ghost behind Everton’s line and finish beyond Begovic, who should have done better.
Alexandre Lacazette was handed a farewell Arsenal appearance soon after, as the home fans were at least able to celebrate an emphatic season-ending win when Odegaard slotted in a fifth.