Merseyside Police have confirmed they will take no action after Patrick Vieira was involved in an altercation with an Everton fan at Goodison Park.

The incident took place in the aftermath of Everton's 3-2 comeback win over Vieira's Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Thursday, which ensured Frank Lampard's side would avoid relegation.

Widely circulated footage appeared to show Vieira kicking out at a supporter after being goaded as Everton fans flooded onto the playing surface at full-time.

While Vieira refused to comment on the incident in his post-match news conference, Merseyside Police announced an investigation, though have now confirmed they will be taking no action, suggesting that neither the former Arsenal and France midfielder nor the fan in question chose to make a formal complaint.

A statement released on the Merseyside Police website on Monday said: "Merseyside Police has concluded enquiries into an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park following the Everton v Crystal Palace match on Thursday (19 May).

"We worked with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and spoke to witnesses.

"Officers have spoken to both men involved and the opportunity to make a formal complaint or support a prosecution was declined."

There has been a worrying increase of violent incidents during pitch invasions in the last week.

A Nottingham Forest fan was jailed for attacking Sheffield United's Billy Sharp, while on Sunday Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was attacked as Manchester City fans flooded onto the Etihad Stadium pitch after their team sealed the Premier League title.

Kurt Zouma has been charged with three animal welfare offences after the West Ham defender was alleged to have harmed his cat.

A video came to light in February showing the France international appearing to kick and slap one of his pets.

Zouma's younger brother Yoan filmed the video and shared it on social media, and has himself been charged with two alleged offences.

The RSPCA took both of Kurt Zouma's cats into care and started a process of bringing a prosecution case against the 27-year-old in March.

Both brothers will have to attend Thames Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Kurt Zouma is accused of two counts of causing "unnecessary suffering" to the cat, by kicking it in the abdomen and slapping it in the head, and a further count of failing to protect the cat from "pain suffering, injury or disease".

Yoan Zouma has been charged with aiding or abetting his brother to commit two of the above offences.

Erik ten Hag said Ralf Rangnick's continued working relationship with Manchester United is a matter for the club, while saying now is the time to "make a future".

Rangnick stepped in as interim boss when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked back in November, with the initial intention being he would move into an advisory role at the end of the season.

United's performances and squad harmony came under a lot of scrutiny under Rangnick, but he insisted he would remain as a consultant even when being named as Austria head coach earlier this month.

Ten Hag is the man United, who finished sixth in the Premier League, tasked with bringing the good times back to Old Trafford and he said regardless of whether Rangnick continues to work with the club the key decisions will be his.

"I analyse by myself. I observe and I speak with a lot of people. But I will draw my own line," he said at a media conference on Monday.

"That [if Rangnick stays] is for the club."

United have failed to win a trophy since 2017, while they last won the Premier League title in Alex Ferguson's last season in charge in the 2012-13 campaign.

The Red Devils recorded their lowest ever points tally in the competition, while rumblings that all is not well among the playing squad have been present throughout a tumultuous campaign.

Ten Hag is leaving a job where he has delivered three Eredivisie titles and overseen a run to the Champions League semi-finals back in the 2018-19 season.

But the Dutchman does not believe he is taking a risk by making the move to Old Trafford.

"The confidence is that I have a good feeling with the people around, I have a good feeling from the meetings. We have a plan and now it's about getting the plan done," he added.

"What we are thinking about is this is a project, I know it takes time, but I also know that in this club, and I have the experience with other clubs like Ajax and Bayern Munich, at the top there's never time. But we want to win, we want every game, so we go from game to game and then we will see.

"I don't see it as a risk. This club has a great history and now let's make a future. It is really exciting to do that with the people around at the club, we will bring new people into the staff, and work with the players to try and achieve success."

United finished 35 points adrift of champions and rivals Manchester City this season and Ten Hag is focused on building rather than making ambitious claims to challenge for the title.

"I don't think about that at this moment. I'm thinking that this is a project and it takes time," he said.

"We want to win every game. We go from game to game and then we'll see.

"It's a fantastic league. I've already met big coaches and big teams in the Premier League and I know how to deal with that. But it's clear, the Premier League is the biggest league in the world I think and I'm looking forward to battling with them."

Erik ten Hag says Cristiano Ronaldo is part of his plans, but the new Manchester United manager has yet to decide if Harry Maguire will remain captain next season.

Former Ajax boss Ten Hag was appointed as Ralf Rangnick's successor last month on an initial three-year deal and officially started work at Old Trafford on Monday.

Ten Hag takes over on the back of United's worst ever Premier League season in terms of points, with 2021-22 their fifth successive campaign without any silverware.

The Dutchman has a number of pressing issues to deal with, not least Ronaldo's future and the wider debate over who should skipper United.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 appearances for United in his first season back at the club, which is 13 goals more than next-best Bruno Fernandes.

Indeed, aside from Ronaldo and Fernandes, no other United player made it into double figures for the campaign in all competitions.

Despite netting some vital goals for the Red Devils, Ronaldo's place in the side has been questioned due to his work off the ball.

But asked at his unveiling news conference whether the Portugal international has a part to play under him next season, Ten Hag responded: "Of course".

Probed on what he expects Ronaldo to bring to the side, Ten Hag simply replied: "Goals".

Ronaldo captained United at times this term when regular skipper Maguire was absent, with some questioning whether the defender should hand over the armband permanently.

Rangnick previously suggested it should be down to the players to vote on who captains United from next season, though Ten Hag is expected to have the final say.

The 52-year-old, who guided Ajax to three Eredivisie titles in his four full seasons in charge, gave little away when commenting on the situation on Monday.

"Next season is a different season," he said. "Harry's done a good job and he's a great player. 

"He's achieved a lot and has contributed a lot to Manchester United, so I'm looking forward to working with him."

While Ronaldo and Maguire look set to play a part in United's latest new chapter, Ten Hag is expected to oversee a big overhaul in the coming transfer window.

"I'm still in the process of analysing, to set conclusions," Ten Hag said of United's transfer business.

"But I'm looking forward to working with the players I have. The season before, this squad was second in the league, so there is huge potential.

"I think if we improve, if we work with them, I think we can get out more than what was the result from this season."

Spain boss Luis Enrique gave Liverpool fans hope for the Champions League final by describing Thiago Alcantara's injury as "not serious", while it was confirmed Ansu Fait and Marco Asensio have been recalled to the national team.

Thiago was injured in the Reds' Premier League season-finale 3-1 win over Wolves on Sunday, with Liverpool unable to pip Manchester City to the title despite taking the three points.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Thiago was limping and it was not the "best sign" ahead of Saturday's European showpiece against Real Madrid in Paris.

But Luis Enrique offered some encouragement to the club's supporters, who are hoping to see their team add to the EFL Cup and FA Cup trophies they have already won this term.

"We have spoken with the player and it is not serious. He is having a great season. We are going to wait," he told a news conference on Monday.

"If he does not reach the final he will have to join us so that our doctors can see him."

Luis Enrique also confirmed the return of Barca star Fati to the national team, with a succession of injuries meaning the exciting forward has not represented La Roja since October 2020.

The head coach said he would not take any undue risks with Fati's fitness in upcoming Nations League matches with Portugal, Czech Republic (twice), and Switzerland.

"I have a special plan, we are not going to take any risks, we are going to see him train, he is not going to play much of the minutes," he said.

"It is more than anything a return to competition and to the parameters of the national team. It is more of a prize than wanting to charge it with minutes."

Asensio last featured for his country back in November 2020, although he was part of Spain's Olympics team last year, and his recall was met with some question marks given his limited game time for Madrid.

"I have seen what I have always seen. It is true that in his team he is not playing too much but what they do here with us is more important," Luis Enrique said of the attacking midfielder's inclusion.

"He may be the first surprised. Let's not kid ourselves, there are casualties in his position, but that doesn't mean he won't come back. Opportunities are there to be seized."

There is still no return for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, but Luis Enrique insists he can still work his way back into the fold.

"I spoke to him at the time and from then on I don't call them [to say] why I make my decisions. He can return to the national team," he said.


Spain squad in full: Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez, David Raya; Inigo Martinez, Pau Torres, Dani Carvajal, Jordi Alba, Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso; Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Koke, Marcos Llorente, Rodri, Thiago Alcantara, Carlos Soler; Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Raul de Tomas, Dani Olmo, Pablo Sarabia, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres.

Erik ten Hag has outlined his Manchester United vision on his first day in the job and warned the club's underperforming stars that "good is not good enough".

The 52-year-old was announced as interim manager Ralf Rangnick's successor last month on a three-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.

After guiding Ajax to a third Eredivisie title in his four full seasons in charge, Ten Hag ended his contract with the Dutch giants early to start work with United ahead of schedule.

Ten Hag was in attendance for Sunday's 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, which ensured United finished sixth in the Premier League and with their lowest-ever points tally.

United have not won the title since Alex Ferguson's final season in 2012-13, though they did finish as runners-up under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 2020-21 campaign.

Following a fifth campaign without any silverware – their worst trophy drought in 40 years – Ten Hag understands the size of the task on his hands to transform United's fortunes. 

"First, we must accept the current situation," he told United's website on Monday. "But we must also know one year ago, this club, this team was second in the Premier League. 

"There's potential and now it's up to us to get that out. It's a process, it will take time but I'm convinced we will come to that point where we get success. 

"We have to work hard and it has to be based on the right philosophy and strategy."

He added: "I have high expectations from myself and that is also what I demand from my squad. They have to co-operate together and they have to give every day their best. 

"And I would say, for me, good is not good enough. We have to do better."

To coincide with Ten Haag's first official day in charge, United also confirmed the appointments of Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as assistant coaches.

Just a week on from taking charge of Ajax for the final time, Ten Haag is now relishing the opportunity to manage one of the world's most prestigious clubs.

Asked why he was so eager to get going at Old Trafford, Ten Hag said: "Before a season, you have to prepare and when you are in a club, I will say it’s a continual process.

"You're working on next season and still you are in the current season, but we didn't have that time.

"And now we close the season and I'm coming over to meet people and to roll out the strategy, to prepare pre-season, prepare staff and prepare a squad.

"First, we have a break. We will start pre-season on June 27 and I will get a few of the squad, [a few] of the individual players.

"In certain positions we want to renew the squad, but as I said, this squad was second in the league one year ago, so there is potential and I'm really looking forward to co-operating with the squad."

Rangnick bows out having lost five of his final eight league games in charge, compared to just two losses in his first 16 matches at the helm.

Successor Ten Hag is not put off, though, and he has made it clear that he intends to bring an attractive brand of football to Old Trafford.

"I really look forward to doing this job, at this club with massive history, and we want to restore it where it belongs," he said.

"First of all, we want to make the fans proud. Second, of course we are in this moment, the current situation is obviously not that good. It’s a big challenge. 

"I want to build and construct a team who are battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results. 

"Also we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams. We want to entertain. But in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can't play fantastic football, we still have to win."

Liverpool have announced the signing of teenage forward Fabio Carvalho from Fulham.

The 19-year-old was close to joining the Reds on deadline day in January after agreeing personal terms and completing a medical, only for a move to fall through.

However, the Reds confirmed on Monday that an agreement is now in place to sign Carvalho on July 1.

Liverpool are reported to have paid an initial £5million for Carvalho and handed the Portugal Under-21 international, who previously represented England at youth level, a five-year deal.

He scored 10 goals and provided eight assists in 36 games as Fulham won the Championship title en route to Premier League promotion in the 2021-22 campaign.

Lisbon-born Carvalho came through the youth ranks at Fulham and made 44 appearances for the club in total, including four top-flight outings two seasons ago.

In a message to Fulham supporters posted on the club's official website, Carvalho said: "I just want to say thank you for everything they’ve done for me, on and off the pitch. 

"On the pitch, they've been singing my name and cheering me on, and off the pitch they're always greeting me. 

"Even my family have fans going up to them, saying hello, which makes me happy. 

"There's obviously been ups and downs this season, but I’ve had some great messages from great fans. 

"I just want to say a big thank you to all the Fulham fans, as without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am today, so thank you so much."

Liverpool rounded off their Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Wolves on Sunday, though that was not enough to pip Manchester City to the title on a dramatic final day.

Jurgen Klopp's side face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris next Saturday, with the aim of adding to the EFL Cup and FA Cup trophies already won this season.

Aston Villa have announced the signing of Boubacar Kamara from Marseille on a five-year contract.

The 22-year-old midfielder had been linked with a move to Villa Park, with manager Steven Gerrard reportedly present at a recent game at the Stade Velodrome.

Kamara will join the Premier League club on a free transfer at the end of his contract, which expires at the end of next month.

The Frenchman primarily plays as a defensive midfielder, but can also fill in at centre-back and was a big part of Marseille's strong 2021-22 campaign, which saw them finish second in Ligue 1 and reach the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.

Of midfielders in the French top division this season, only Johan Gastien and Jordan Ferri made more than Kamara's 2,383 passes, while of those who made over 1,000 passes, only five players had better accuracy than his 90.68 per cent.

After the signing was confirmed, Gerrard told Villa's official website: "I am delighted that we have been able to attract one of the most promising young talents in European football.

"We have a very clear plan to make our team stronger and Bouba is an important part of that."

The former France Under-21 international also explained that a meeting with Gerrard and other Villa representatives convinced him to join the Midlands club.

"When I met with Steven, Christian [Purslow, chief executive] and Johan [Lange, sporting director], I knew Aston Villa was for me," Kamara said.

"Their ambition and determination to succeed matches my own. I cannot wait for pre-season to get going."

Two people have been charged by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) following a pitch invasion after Manchester City's Premier League title-clinching win against Aston Villa.

City recovered from two goals down at the Etihad Stadium to beat Villa 3-2 in dramatic circumstances on Sunday and clinch their fourth league crown in five seasons.

Thousands of supporters charged onto the pitch to celebrate City's latest triumph, but reports of violence marred the celebrations. 

City apologised and launched an investigation after Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was allegedly attacked.

In a statement released on Monday, GMP confirmed they have charged two people for separate offences, while enquiries are ongoing into the alleged attack on Olsen.

Phillip Maxwell, of Anzio Row, Knowsley, has been charged with throwing a missile onto the pitch, and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Paul Colbridge, of Whitegate Drive, Salford, has been charged with going onto the pitch, and will appear at the same court on June 7.

City have vowed to hand a lifetime ban to any supporters found guilty of attacking Olsen.

Speculation over Declan Rice's future has long centred on an apparently inevitable departure from West Ham United.

The Hammers run to the Europa League semi-final has amplified talk around the England international midfielder, with Chelsea and Manchester United linked.

According to reports, though, the 23-year-old appears content at London Stadium with a World Cup on the horizon.

 

TOP STORY – DECLAN RICE TO STICK WITH WEST HAM    

Declan Rice will not leave West Ham despite interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, according to The Mirror.

The 23-year-old has been reticent to sign a new deal at the club, but he is reportedly in no hurry to leave yet either, seemingly wanted to stay settled ahead of November's World Cup in Qatar.

United have looked to Rice as one of their primary transfer targets as Erik ten Hag looks to overhaul the squad, but Rice appears set for one more season at West Ham following their run to the Europa League semi-final this term.

Hammers management had previously advised that Rice is not for sale, and strong performances at the World Cup with England would likely only increase his already lofty market value.

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid are showing interest in Milan's Rafael Leao after Kylian Mbappe opted to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, according to Marca.

– Los Blancos are also looking to scupper Liverpool's move for Aurelien Tchouameni, despite the player having already agreed terms with the Reds so say The Mirror.

Barcelona are discussing personal terms with Marcos Alonso, who is set to leave Chelsea, Fabrizio Romano reports.

– Arsenal defender William Saliba wants to stay at Marseille, where he has been on loan, per Goal.

The increasing violence amid pitch invasions in English football is of great concern to Gary Neville and Roy Keane, who called the culprits "idiots, scumbags" and a "disgrace".

City won the Premier League – their fourth title in the last five campaigns under Pep Guardiola – in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season on Sunday, coming from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

However, as has been the case at several grounds across the country in recent weeks, City's win sparked scenes of fans charging onto the pitch at full-time.

While the majority of the supporters celebrated peacefully, some fans were seen to have approached Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who had to be escorted off the pitch by stewards.

Steven Gerrard subsequently confirmed that his goalkeeper had been "attacked" while City released a statement apologising to Villa and Olsen, promising a full investigation.

The incident follows on from a Nottingham Forest fan having been jailed for assaulting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp at the end of a Championship play-off semi-final, while lower down the pyramid, Port Vale fans were involved in an altercation with Swindon Town players.

On Thursday, Everton supporters ran onto the pitch to celebrate a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace that secured their Premier League status.

One fan appeared to aggravate Palace boss Patrick Vieira, who seemingly lashed out at the supporter.

It is a situation that former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville is extremely worried by.

"This brilliant last 20 years, or 30 years, where we've brought the fences down in English football and the fans are respected and 99 times out of 100 they don't run onto the pitch because they enjoy the family environment, far more children coming to the game, far more women coming to the game," Neville said on Sky Sports.

"All of a sudden in this last few weeks, months, not just running on the pitch, which is a problem, but if you're attacking managers and players – what are you doing?

"Running on the pitch, they've won the league, they're delirious, I get that, but attacking the opposition players on the pitch – where has this come from, why is happening?

"I've got no idea, it's absolutely ridiculous."

It was a sentiment echoed by Neville's former Manchested United team-mate Keane, who is concerned by what may come next.

He said: "A player or a manager is going to be seriously injured. If you're mad enough to punch a player you're going to be mad enough to do something stupid like stab a player.

"I think people have come back after COVID and forgot how to behave themselves. Idiots, scumbags, disgrace. Absolutely disgraceful."

Erik ten Hag is set to outline his Manchester United vision on Monday when he holds his first news conference as Red Devils boss.

The former Ajax head coach has secured an early release from his contract at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, allowing him to get down to work in his new post.

A busy summer lies ahead for Ten Hag, with a host of players set to leave Old Trafford after a wretched season for the club.

Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard look set to depart, while doubts surround others, including Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

A substantial clear-out is likely to be followed by a recruitment drive as Ten Hag looks to build a squad capable of putting up a greater challenge for a Champions League place.

United finished sixth in the 2021-22 Premier League season, accruing only 58 points, the fewest they have managed in the English top flight since the 1989-90 First Division campaign. They will play in the Europa League next season.

Ten Hag was at Selhurst Park on Sunday to watch United slump to a 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace in their final game of the season, refusing to speak to a Sky Sports television reporter after the game when approached outside the ground.

United said the Dutchman would appear at a 12:00 BST news conference. He will be expected to give his views on United's season and how the club can improve their on-pitch fortunes under his charge.

The future of Cristiano Ronaldo in United's set-up will also likely be a matter for Ten Hag to address, with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner having a year left on the contract he signed when arriving from Juventus last August. Ronaldo has scored a flurry of goals and reports have suggested Ten Hag sees him continuing to play a crucial role.

Ten Hag may also be asked about how he sees the role of Ralf Rangnick, with this season's interim head coach having joined the club with a view to taking on a consultancy role for the next two seasons.

Liverpool striker Divock Origi said he always tried to put the team first as he bid an emotional farewell at Anfield on Sunday.

The Reds beat Wolves 3-1 on the final day of the Premier League season, though were denied the title after a Manchester City comeback victory against Aston Villa.

Origi could not be a part of the game after suffering a muscle injury, but was presented with a guard of honour from his team-mates as well as some parting gifts after the win.

The Belgian is out of contract at the end of the season, with reports suggesting he is set to move to Serie A champions Milan.

Speaking to Sky Sports as the players took their end of campaign lap of honour, Origi was full of praise for the club he has played for since 2015.

"Unbelievable years I've had here," he told Sky Sports. "To be able to soak this in with all the fans... I just feel amazing. This goes beyond words.

"It's an unbelievable club. It goes beyond something I could expect. When you experience it, that's when you know how big this club is, how unbelievable the people are, the atmospheres, the Champions League nights... the people, the staff, the players - it's been a joy."

Origi made 107 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, scoring 22 goals, though only 34 of those appearances were starts.

The 27-year-old developed a reputation as a super-sub, scoring some iconic late goals for the Reds against the likes of Everton, Barcelona and even earlier this season in the reverse fixture against Wolves. 

"I'm always trying to put the team first and I knew trying to be the best Divock I can be, trying to be the best player I can be and then trying to help the team as much as possible, and trust that the coach will make the right decisions [was me putting the team first]," he added.

"If it depends on me, I want to be on the pitch every single minute but even more than that, I want to win and we have an unbelievable group, we achieved so many great things.

"Hopefully one more important game where we can achieve a bit more, but yeah it's been an honour and a joy."

Origi did not rule himself out of being involved in Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris, but fittingly put the team first.

"We are assessing right now so don't want to say too much, but the focus is now on the team," he said.

Pep Guardiola allowed himself a joke at Manchester City's expense after a thrilling comeback against Aston Villa clinched the Premier League title, claiming he asked Real Madrid how to rescue a seemingly lost cause.

It was Madrid who broke City's hearts in the Champions League semi-finals this season, recovering from 5-3 down on aggregate heading into the 90th minute of the second leg to remarkably pull off a 6-5 win after extra time.

That trophy remains frustratingly out of reach, but the Premier League is City's yet again, won by the mighty Etihad Stadium outfit for a fourth time in five seasons.

A stunning 3-2 victory against Villa on Sunday saw City over the line, with Ilkay Gundogan coming off the bench to net a decisive double, sandwiching a fine strike from Rodri.

Villa had led 2-0 and at that stage everything was up for grabs, with Liverpool tantalisingly close to pipping City on the final day. Yet 12 minutes and 22 seconds after City surrendered the second Villa goal to Philippe Coutinho, the game had turned around and the hosts were in front.

Asked how the flurry of goals had come about, Guardiola said: "I called Real Madrid and they gave me good advice, this was the reason why."

He followed the quip by adding: "No explanation in Madrid, no explanation today. It's momentum."

The City celebrations were in full swing on Sunday evening and were set to spill into Monday, with a bus parade planned.

"Tomorrow we can celebrate together in the Manchester streets with cigars and beers," Guardiola said.

He has backed his players all season, even after the collapse in Madrid, and said the Premier League remains the ultimate measure of their quality.

"When you win the Premier League in this country four times in five seasons, it is because these guys are so, so special," Guardiola said.

"This game is completely different than the other ones. You have to close something that is so difficult. It's like serving to win Wimbledon. It's the most difficult one, the tennis players say that, so it was quite similar today."

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said City's four titles in five years represents, for the coaching staff, "probably the best achievement we have done in our careers".

"I'm not saying the Premier League is better or more important than the Champions League, but it is the most honest one," Guardiola said. "The Premier League doesn't lie. It's 38 games, away and home. Many problems for all the teams and in the end who wins it's because of who is the best.

"These guys are legends already. This group of players are absolutely eternal in this club because what we have achieved is so difficult."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta knew his side needed a miraculous turnaround in fortunes to make the Champions League, but that does not stop the failure hurting him.

The Gunners defeated Everton 5-1 at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, yet the result merely capped off what will ultimately prove a frustrating season.

Arsenal lost their opening three Premier League matches of the season but enjoyed a resurgence, with the emergence of young talents such as Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah helping them push on for a top-four place.

Arteta's team were firmly in the driving seat before taking on Tottenham in the north London derby on May 12, yet a heavy defeat to their rivals, followed by a 2-0 reverse at Newcastle United on Monday, left Arsenal needing Spurs to slip up against already relegated Norwich City on the final day of the season.

And while Arsenal did their bit against a much-changed Everton side – Frank Lampard's team had secured safety with a draining 3-2 comeback win against Crystal Palace on Thursday – Spurs romped to a 5-0 victory at Carrow Road, ensuring they would be the ones to take the final Champions League spot.

Arsenal must settle for fifth and a place in the Europa League, a fact that leaves Arteta hugely frustrated.

He told a news conference "We did what we had to do. We needed a miracle, it didn't occur. That's it.

"At the end of the season the table doesn't lie. It's true, last season Chelsea were in the Champions League with 67 points. We have 69 and we are out of it. But that's the level and the demands that this league has now.

"I cannot assess the season, I'm still in a lot of pain after what happened on Monday and I would like to have a fair assessment on what we've done.

"What I can guarantee you is we have tried to squeeze the lemon, to every single bit of juice that would come, and we have reached the point where we have reached.

"You see what we have on the pitch, we know where we have to go. We have generated the expectations that I wanted for this football club. In the end we came short and that feeling of guilt is painful."

Arsenal had gone unbeaten in their final league game in each of the last 16 seasons and that record never looked in danger of not being extended against Everton, who have lost their final league game in five of the last six campaigns.

Gabriel Martinelli's penalty and Eddie Nketiah's header put Arsenal 2-0 up inside 31 minutes, with second-half strikes from Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Martin Odegaard rendering Donny van de Beek's goal a consolation. 

Nketiah, who has scored five league goals this season, is one of three players soon to be out of contract at Arsenal, and he was replaced by Alexandre Lacazette midway through the second half – the Frenchman's deal is also up at the end of June.

Mohamed Elneny played the full 90 minutes on what could also be his final Gunners appearance, and Arteta revealed the decisions have been made on the trio's future, though it was unclear whether any of them would be staying on.

"It's been decided, but it's very difficult to communicate it," he said.

"What they deserve is to have a little bit of what they had today, but to do it earlier with three situations like that is very awkward and could effect the team.

"Those players know their situation, when it is going to be communicated and those players will know face to face, which is what they deserve."

Only in 1993-94 (22) have Everton lost more games in a Premier League season than the 21 defeats they have suffered in the competition this term, but having achieved his goal of keeping them up, Lampard is now eager to look to the future.

He told reporters: "We want to improve in a lot of ways. The way we played in the past month has been fantastic. 

"You can never stand still and relax in this game. The reasons why we were in a relegation fight was very real and we need to improve."

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