Newcastle crush Arsenal's Champions League dreams with electric victory at St James' Park

It was a memorable night for Newcastle fans - and one to forget for Arsenal. Credit: PA

It may have been low stakes, but no one told the fans.

The atmosphere was electric at St James' Park on Monday 16 May when Newcastle defeated Champions League hopefuls Arsenal 2-0.

Having become mathematically safe from relegation last weekend, the significance of the occasion was largely symbolic, marking the last home game in this historic season for the club.

And there was something in the air right from the outset, with the 49,000 home fans taking part in the largest pre-kick-off display the stadium has ever seen.

Though it was a goalless first half, the whole team were clearly on top when the whistle blew for the break.

In one of their most important matches this season, Arsenal gave away ball after ball - the Gunners had their hearts in their mouths when Aaron Ramsdale nearly lost it to Miguel Almirón in his own six-yard box - and Newcastle strangely seemed the more up-for-it team.

But it was after the break that the fun really began for Newcastle. Arguably this season's greatest underdog story, it was the Brazilian revelation Joelinton who made the first goal.

Bursting from midfield onto a ball from Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle's unlikely player of the season whipped in a cross turned unfortunately into his own net by Arsenal centre back Ben White.

Toon domination continued and the returning Callum Wilson was unlucky not to get onto the score sheet, blazing narrowly over the bar twice and inches wide on one occasion after beating a scrambling Aaron Ramsdale from 40-yards out.

The rowdiest celebrations came in the 85th minute after Bruno Guimarães pounced on a ball smothered by Ramsdale and threaded it home.

Wonder-signing Bruno Guimaraes celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game. Credit: PA

For Arsenal, the result was one of its worst in recent memory.

Before the game, their fight for fourth place against arch rivals Tottenham was in their hands. Now, they're two points behind with one game left and Spurs have bottom-place Norwich in their final game.

But for Newcastle, the game added to the snowballing sense of hope around St James' Park.

Their remarkable first season under new ownership ends on Sunday at Turf Moor.