Sam Allardyce had said upon joining West Brom that a first relegation from the Premier League in his managerial career would “kill” him and, while the defeat that sealed their fate had a blessedly more benign effect, the distaste was etched on his face at full time. In truth this moment had long been coming and the Baggies will yo-yo again; they might have fancied prolonging their interest in the season against a smarting Arsenal but, despite starting and finishing strongly, could not capitalise on the hosts’ gloom.

Instead Emile Smith Rowe, fed superbly by Bukayo Saka, and Nicolas Pépé scored fine goals either side of the half-hour to give Mikel Arteta a little respite after the dismay of Thursday’s chastening Europa League exit against Villarreal. Matheus Pereira applied a classy finish to raise West Brom’s hope of clawing the point that would have kept them mathematically alive, but Willian produced a picturebook free-kick at the end to render their efforts meaningless.

Related: Arsenal 3-1 West Bromwich Albion: Premier League – live!

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