Arsenal have finished the season in second place and ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League for the 21st consecutive campaign as they beat Aston Villa 4-0 and Spurs lost 5-1 to Newcastle.
It is a hugely embarrassing end to the season for the Lilywhites who held the advantage going into the match, but collapsed to a humiliating loss, despite playing ten-men for 23 minutes at St James’ Park.
And now, after sitting in second since February, Tottenham have seen their rivals leapfrog them at the death, with an Olivier Giroud hat-trick helping them to victory against the Villans.
Knowing a win was vital to finish second, Arsenal set out quickly to put the pressure on their rivals and did so just four minutes into the match. Nacho Monreal swung a ball in from the left flank and an unmarked Giroud rose up and his downward head crept under Mark Bunn’s attempted save.
They remained dangerous but Jordan Ayew made sure they were on their toes when he sauntered into the box and saw his cross cleared when he probably should have shot.
Meanwhile, in the north east, from the off, the Magpies looked the more dangerous with Spurs looking out of sorts, and Aleksandar Mitrovic went close.
The Serbian then became the provider as he nudged the ball into Georginio Wijnaldum’s path, with the Dutchman slipping a low shot past Hugo Lloris with 19 minutes on the clock – putting Arsenal in pole position for second spot.
Attempting to get themselves back into the game, Spurs pushed their opponents back but were unable to get any clear-cut chances. At the Emirates, Alexis Sanchez sent a shot a whisker wide, while Jack Wilshere put an effort into the side netting after getting in behind the Villa defence.
But they didn’t need to worry as Spurs’ calamitous end to the campaign continued with Mitrovic heading the 1,000th goal of the Premier League season beyond Lloris with his defence all at sea.
Christian Eriksen nearly got a goal back with a fierce strike shot, but Karl Darlow did exceptionally well to deny him. At the break, Arsenal were comfortable in the knowledge they were second in the table, one point above Spurs. As Mauricio Pochettino looked to change the course of events, he threw youngster Joshua Onomah on for Heung-Min Son and Thomas Carroll for the abject Ryan Mason.
The changes appeared to work with two corners and a free-kick in a dangerous position going their way, and they finally got the breakthrough after 60 minutes. After winning the ball in midfield, they pushed the ball out to the left and, after timing his run perfectly, Lamela’s thrash goalwards was too fierce for Darlow to keep out at the near post.
The Argentine’s goal meant Tottenham need just one goal to retake second spot, thanks to their superior goal difference. And they soon had a man advantage too as Mitrovic was sent off for a disgraceful challenge on Kyle Walker on the touchline, with the defender then leaving the field to be replaced by Nacer Chadli as they went on the attack.
But instead of getting the goal they needed, Spurs conceded another with Moussa Sissoko going down easily in the penalty area under pressure after running the length of the pitch, with Wijnaldum slamming home the spot-kick to make the score 3-1.
At the Emirates, Giroud doubled his tally, firing Mesut Ozil’s cross into the back of the net with 12 minutes to go and moments later he made it 3-0, easing a Hector Bellerin pass home with Bunn helpless. And to put a gloss on the outcome for Arsene Wenger’s side, Newcastle then hit a double salvo to leave Tottenham broken.
First Rolando Aarons struck as Toby Alderweireld dithered and then Daryl Janmaat sent the home fans wild again with a smart finish to make it 5-1 in astonishing scenes, before Mikel Arteta’s shot was knocked into the net by Bunn for a fourth Gunners goal. St Totteringham’s Day is getting later and later but it was, nonetheless, celebrated with fervour at the Emirates.