Bruno Guimaraes has come back to haunt Arsenal in the most brutal fashion just months after the Gunners opted against signing him in the January transfer window.
The Brazilian was in fine form against Mikel Arteta’s side and played as if he had something to prove. The former Lyon midfielder scored the decisive goal to all but end Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four. Guimaraes pounded on a loose ball to finish beyond a helpless Aaron Ramsdale.
Eyebrows were raised when the 24-year-old joined the Magpies given the calibre of other clubs interested, but he explained: “They didn’t disguise that the main objective and challenge was remaining in the Premier League this season. But in the seasons coming, the objective is to be in the Champions League and eventually to win the Champions League. I believe in the project, I believe in everything they spoke to me about.”
The midfielder was asked early on after being unveiled as a Newcastle player whether his new team were as big in stature as the Gunners and while he didn’t answer the question directly – his answer was emphatic.
“We are definitely going to be a club that is going to be a big power in world football. This is a historic club with a great tradition and a beautiful history, I have no doubts about my decision to come to Newcastle.
“Newcastle have presented something really interesting. I was so happy with the trust and faith the directors and president placed in me. I am someone who is driven by challenges.”
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Guimaraes was tracked by plenty of clubs but Arsenal’s name seemed to always crop up in reports – they may now look back on the decision to snub the Brazilian as a defining one as their hopes of finishing fourth crumble with one game left to play.
From an Arsenal perspective, they failed to get to grips with the threat posed not just by Guimaraes but by a number of Magpies players. Callum Wilson ran the Gunners back-line ragged while Allan Saint-Maximin gave both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares a torrid time.
The Gunners boss could do little more than hold his hands up after the game and admit: “They were much better in every department, they were better in duels, second balls, they managed to do so, we were poor with the ball. We had nothing in the game.”
Arteta’s troops are now relying on a miracle on the final day of the season as they need already-relegated Norwich City to beat North London rivals Tottenham at Carrow Road while bouncing back and beating Everton at the Emirates themselves.