Bruno Guimaraes has dealt Arsenal's Champions League hopes a major blow as Newcastle powered their way to a deserved win at a raucous St James' Park.
The Brazilian condemned the Gunners to a costly 2-0 defeat with an 85th-minute strike after Ben White's own goal had put the Magpies ahead in front of a crowd of 52,274.
As a result, Arsenal will go into Sunday's final round of fixtures two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and with their fate out of their own hands.
"We could not cope with the game we had to play here," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who described Newcastle as "10 times better" than his team, said.
"The performance was nowhere near the level needed to play in the Champions League."
Victory was no more than Eddie Howe's side deserved as they bounced back from successive defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City to take their tally to 46 points, the most they have collected since returning to the Premier League in 2017.
The visitors were first to threaten when Granit Xhaka fed Eddie Nketiah, who cut inside from the left, but saw his right-foot shot blocked.
Callum Wilson's pace was making life difficult for Arsenal and White had to block a Sean Longstaff cross and a Joelinton shot within seconds as the home side pushed for the opener.
Bukayo Saka threatened on 21 minutes and the England international's second strike forced keeper Martin Dubravka into another save before Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale produced a solid 37th-minute stop from Allan Saint-Maximin.
Martin Odegaard then flashed the ball across the Magpies' penalty area, but the Gunners fell behind on 55 minutes.
Saint-Maximin played Joelinton into space down the left and he crossed to the near post, where White could only turn the ball into his own net.
As Arsenal chased an equaliser, Wilson sent a 63rd-minute snapshot just over, Ramsdale palmed away Jacob Murphy's shot and was relieved to see Wilson's late lob from 40 yards drop just wide.
The keeper dived bravely at Wilson's feet with five minutes remaining, but the rebound fell perfectly for Guimaraes, who needed no second invitation to seal the points.
The result means Chelsea, in third place, were sure of finishing in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
"If someone is not ready for this game or too nervous, stay on the bench, stay at home, don't come here," Arsenal midfielder Xhaka said, appearing to turn on some of his own teammates.
"We need people to have the (character) to come here and play."
Australian Associated Press
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