West Bromwich Albion have been relegated from the Premier League for the fifth time after a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal that sees the Gunners keeping their slim hopes of qualifying for Europe alive.
Sam Allardyce’s side were already virtually relegated but their return to the Championship is now confirmed, with the Baggies 10 points away from safety with just three games remaining.
Emile Smith Rowe scored with a nice volley to open the scoring for the home side after he connected with a delightful cross by Bukayo Saka in the 29th minute.
Nicolas Pepe made West Brom pay only six minutes later when he cut in from the right and curled into the top corner to double Arsenal’s advantage.
Matheus Costa Pereira gave the away side a chance when he went on an incredible run from his own half to score a stunning individual goal in the 67th minute.
However, in their aims of fighting back, Willian added a third goal from a free-kick for Arsenal to kill the tie off as West Brom suffered a joint-record fifth Premier League relegation.
Victory means the Gunners, who were knocked out of the Europa League semifinals on Thursday, have a mathematical chance of qualifying for European football next season but it is highly improbable of happening.
West Brom manager Sam Allardyce had this to say postmatch: “It has been looking difficult for a while and we haven’t taken our chance to give ourselves a better opportunity of staying up.
“I think these players should be fighting to stay out of it. They have performed well enough but our capabilities of scoring have deserted us.
“It is a disappointing night but we have to take it on the chin. It is not as painful for me as it is for the club or players. It is painful, I wanted it for the club and players more than me, but it hasn’t happened. Everyone has to accept it and recover quickly.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said this with respect to the game: “The best way to do it is with the right attitude. The three goals were very different but really good individual and collective actions.
“We have done so many right steps, some you can see and some you can’t. The foundations are there.”