Nicolas Pepe excellent form in front of goal continued by scoring twice as Mikel Arteta’s men beaten Brighton and Hove Albion to ended this campaign in perfect fashion but failed to qualifying for European football for the first time in 25 years.
The Gunners needed both Totteham and Everton to drop points while also seeing off the Seagulls to seal seventh place and a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League next year.
Mikel Arteta’s men did their bit and had Pepe to thank, the club’s record signing two second-half brace strikes securing a 2-0 victory as 10, 000 fans returned to the Emirates stadium.
But Gareth Bale’s late goals for Totteham Hotspur at Leicester meant they finish above their north London rivals.
The Seagulls were never really in the contest but did frustrated the home side for the opening 45 minutes, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka coming close while Rob Holding bundling the ball over the line only to be flagged offside.
The Gunners came closest to breaking the deadlock just moments before the break when Gabriel Magalhaes sent a looping header against the crossbar.
But they would hit the front soon after the restart as Nicolas Pepe continued his fine form in front of goal, collecting a Calum Chambers pass and finishing coolly past Robert Sanchez.
The club’s record signing would double the lead on the hour-mark, scoring his ninth goal from his last 13 Premier League starts having cut into the Brighton box and again finished with aplomb.
Thomas Partey would go on to strike the crossbar as Arsenal coasted to the three points to at least win in front of their returning supporters.
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Meanwhile, David Luiz, who was confirmed his exit from the club and gave an emotional speech to his Arsenal team-mates ahead of the final day of the season, was celebrated by the club after the final whistle, with the players hugging him on the pitch.
The 34-year-old Brazilian defender has decided to end his two year spell at Arsenal, with his contract expiring after the season, and it’s likely that he’ll be leaving England too.
Gabriel has been out on the pitch for ages looking for something, he’s now got a few of the coaching staff helping him. I’m pretty sure he’s looking for a tooth. pic.twitter.com/3iirVtbuOP— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 23, 2021