Arsenal 3-1 Everton: Arsene Wenger's side miss out on Champions League despite victory
Last Updated: 21/05/17 6:32pm
Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years despite beating Everton 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Needing slip-ups from either Liverpool or Manchester City on the final day of the season to have any chance of a top-four finish, Arsenal took an eighth-minute lead through Hector Bellerin.
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They did suffer a setback when Laurent Koscielny was sent off for a late lunge on Enner Valencia in the 14th minute, ruling him out of the FA Cup final, but doubled their lead through Alexis Sanchez in the 27th minute.
Everton, who started with Ross Barkley on the bench, pulled a goal back through Romelu Lukaku's penalty after Rob Holding handled in the penalty area.
But the Gunners, who lost Alexis Sanchez to injury in the 68th minute, secured victory thanks to Aaron Ramsey's injury-time strike.
Arsenal's victory was in vain though in terms of Champions League qualification as Liverpool cruised to a 3-0 victory at home to relegated Middlesbrough, while Manchester City hammered Watford 5-0.
It means a first finish outside the top four for Arsenal during Arsene Wenger's tenure at the club and Europa League football next season, but attention will now turn to next week's FA Cup final against Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley.
Koscielny and Ramsey were both passed fit while Danny Welbeck was preferred up front to Olivier Giroud as Wenger stuck with the 3-4-3 formation which has served them well in recent weeks.
There was no place in Everton's starting line-up for Barkley, whose future at Goodison Park is in doubt, and he was left on the substitutes' bench with Enner Valencia taking his place.
Bellerin gave Leighton Baines a torrid time in the early stages and when Welbeck mis-kicked from five yards with the goal gaping, the full-back was on hand to slot Arsenal ahead.
It was the perfect start for the hosts, who had dominated the first quarter of an hour, but their momentum was checked when Koscielny dived needlessly in on Valencia and referee Michael Oliver responded with a red card.
Barkley came on for Tom Davies, presumably to take advantage of Arsenal's reduced numbers, but instead it was the 10 men that doubled their lead as Sanchez's shot fell to Welbeck, who in turn pulled back for Sanchez to pass the ball into the net.
Everton improved with half-time in sight and could have scored when Barkley, Idrissa Gueye and Lukaku all shot in quick succession, but failed to convert.
Liverpool had taken the lead at Anfield shortly before the interval and word quickly spread when they doubled their lead early in the second half.
A nightmare five minutes then ensued as Gabriel left the field on a stretcher following a lunging tackle on Valencia, Liverpool scored a third and Everton reduced the deficit after a Holding handball allowed Lukaku to fire a penalty into the corner, taking his goal tally to 25 for the season
It was enough to prompt Arsenal's fans into a chant urging Stan Kroenke to leave, and there were more boos when Valencia, deemed by some fans to have exaggerated Koscielny's earlier tackle, was substituted late on.
Substitute Alex Iwobi twice should have put the result beyond doubt and his wastefulness was almost punished when Barkley flashed wide.
Ramsey added a final flourish, however, bending into the far top corner as Arsenal confirmed victory, but it proved to be in vain as the Gunners finished fifth for the first time since the 1995/96 season.
Arsenal: Cech (8), Holding (6), Koscielny (5), Gabriel (6), Bellerin (8), Ramsey (7), Xhaka (7), Monreal (7), Ozil (7), Sanchez (7), Welbeck (6).
Subs: Mertesacker (6), Coquelin (6), Iwobi (6).
Everton: Robles (8), Baines (6), Jagielka (6), Williams (6), Holgate (6), Gueye (6), Schneiderlin (7), Davies (5), Valencia (7), Mirallas (6), Lukaku (7).
Subs: Barry (6), Barkley (7), Kone (6).
Man of the Match: Hector Bellerin.