Alistair Magowan, BBC Sport at Emirates Stadium
The Gunners did all they could to try to finish in the top four for the first time since 2016, but the damage had been done in their two previous games – defeats at north London rivals Tottenham and resurgent Newcastle.
The second of those losses prompted Granit Xhaka to question his team-mates’ character, but they showed an appetite to make up for their performance at St James’ Park by putting Everton under pressure from the first whistle.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the top four, the season can still be seen as progress for Mikel Arteta’s young side.
But the Arsenal boss will have to deal with the futures of Eddie Nketiah, midfielder Mohamed Elneny and striker Alexandre Lacazette, whose contracts all end this summer.
Everton fans will be further relieved their team extended their 68-year stay in the Premier League on Thursday, as their wretched away form continued.
They have won only once away from Goodison Park since August, though a much-changed side did show glimpses of attacking threat.
But what will disappoint Frank Lampard most was his side conceding three goals from corners, especially with Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite making up the back three.
The visiting supporters were in good spirits until Arsenal took a three-goal lead, but having celebrated their top-flight survival on Thursday, their partying was probably done.
They still found the energy to celebrate, though, when they heard Manchester City had taken a 3-2 lead against Aston Villa, denying Liverpool the title.