ARSENAL crashed to a fifth consecutive away defeat in the Premier League as Newcastle beat the visitor 2-1 at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Arsenal took an early lead through Alexandre Lacazette, but Ayoze Perez equalized before Ritchie bagged the second half winner.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ran onto a long ball into the Newcastle area and picked out Lacazette, who stretched to volley home at the far post for his 13th goal of a difficult first season following his move from Lyon.
Jonjo Shelvey’s long pass picked out Dwight Gayle in the Arsenal area and, with Gunners defender Shkodran Mustafi out of position, he was able to lay off to DeAndre Yedlin.
Perez made a perfectly-timed run to meet Yedlin’s cross with a fine finish that flashed by Petr Cech at his near post.
The Gunners are 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with only five games remaining in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
Realistically, Arsenal already had no chance of making the top four and Wenger had been prioritising their Europa League campaign for several weeks.
They face Atletico Madrid in the last four and will qualify for the Champions League if they win the competition.