Richie stars as Newcastle beat Arsenal

Arsenal crashed to a fifth consecutive away defeat in the English Premier League as Matt Ritchie fired Newcastle United to a 2-1 win at St James' Park last night.

Arsene Wenger's side took a 14th-minute lead through Alexandre Lacazette, but Ayoze Perez equalised in the 29th minute before Ritchie bagged the second-half winner.

Newcastle's fourth successive win ended Arsenal's unbeaten run of seven games in all competitions.

The sixth-placed Gunners are 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with only five games left in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Realistically, Arsenal already had no chance of making the top four and Wenger had been prioritising their Europa League campaign for several weeks.

They face Atletico Madrid in the last four and will qualify for the Champions League if they win the competition.

Newcastle, who are in 10th spot, have 41 points.

"A 40-point tally was the target at the start of the season and hopefully, we've done enough now to secure our Premier League status," Ritchie told Sky Sports. - REUTERS, AFP