PREMIER LEAGUE

Iwobi's handball not enough as Arsenal fail to reach Champions League despite thrashing Everton

Arsenal have failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the sixth consecutive season despite thrashing Everton 5-1

Martin Odegaard rounded off the scoring for Arsenal against Everton

Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi endured a difficult return to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, conceding a penalty as Everton were summarily defeated on the last day of the league season.

Everton, already saved from relegation, suffered a 5-1 defeat in London as Arsenal gave the UEFA Champions League the last push in the hope that Tottenham Hotspur would drop points against Norwich City.

Goals from Gabriel Matiinelli (P, 27'), Edward Nketiah (31'), Cedric Soares (56'), Gabriel Magalhães (59'), and Martin Odegaard (82') secured a big win for Arsenal despite Donny van de Beek's (45'+3) consolation goal for Everton.

Led by Frank Lampard, Everton went to the Emirates Stadium with the security of a Premier League spot for next season but still set up in a conservative 5-4-1 formation with Iwobi deployed as a right full-back.

The Super Eagles star had a torrid time on his return to his former club, failing to cope with an irresistible Arsenal forward line all through the match.

Iwobi's most important contribution to the match was conceding a handball in the penalty area in the 24th minute that led to Arsenal's opening goal.

The Nigerian international tallied four (4) clearances and four (4) tackles but was dribbled past twice and committed one (1) error leading to a shot.

In an attacking sense, Iwobi made two (2) key passes, succeeded with one (1) of two (2) attempted dribbles, and failed to find an Everton player with all two (2) of his long balls.

As a positive, the Super Eagles star won six (6) of the 11 duels he contested as Everton failed to hold on to Arsenal all match.

The victory on the final day of the season took Arsenal to 69 points, however, still two points short of Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth position.

As Arsenal played, Tottenham Hotspur were winning currently away at Carrow Road as the Antonio Conte-led side put five (5) unreplied goals past already-relegated Norwich City.

The results mean Tottenham Hotspur take the fourth position on the log and the final automatic Champions League spot with 71 points.

This latest disappointment means Arsenal will once again be without Champions League football for the sixth consecutive season with their last appearance in the competition coming during the 2016/17 season.

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