- Associated Press - Sunday, May 21, 2017

LONDON (AP) - Arsenal will be missing from the Champions League next season for the first time in 20 years after failing to squeeze into the Premier League’s top four despite beating Everton 3-1 with 10 men in Sunday’s finale.

Comfortable victories for Manchester City and Liverpool prevented Arsene Wenger from maintaining a proud record of having steered Arsenal into Europe’s elite competition in every full season of his 21-year reign.

While it’s certain fifth-placed Arsenal will be competing in the Europa League next season, there’s some doubt over whether Wenger will still be in charge. The 67-year-old Frenchman’s contract is up at the end of the season and he is staying tight-lipped on his future until after the FA Cup final.

Beating Chelsea in next Saturday’s final would provide some salvation for Wenger in this miserable season but he will be depleted in defense.

Captain Laurent Koscielny is set to be suspended after being sent off after 14 minutes against Everton, while Gabriel Paulista was carried off on a stretcher with a left-knee injury.

Arsenal’s fifth successive victory was secured by first-half goals from Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez, and a stoppage-time strike by Aaron Ramsey. The late-season resurgence came too late to rise from fifth place. Arsenal will be in the Europa League with Everton, which finished in seventh place and scored its only goal at the Emirates Stadium from the penalty spot through Romelu Lukaku in the 57th minute.

Wenger had finished in the top four every year since being hired partly through the 1996-97 season, although in his debut campaign third place was only enough for a place in the now-defunct UEFA Cup.

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