Slavia Prague stun Arsenal with stoppage time equaliser


Arsenal twice hit the woodwork in the course of the recreation

Slavia Prague scored a dramatic stoppage time equaliser to go away Arsenal’s Europa League ambitions hanging within the steadiness.

Substitute Nicolas Pepe thought he had earned the Gunners a slender quarter-final first-leg benefit when he broke the impasse within the 86th minute.

But Tomas Holes headed dwelling within the dying moments of the sport from shut vary to offer Slavia Prague a valuable away objective.

The second leg in Prague takes place subsequent Thursday (20:00 BST) and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, regardless of his facet conceding so late, nonetheless believes they may progress to the semi-finals.

“The mindset must be to go there and rating targets and win the sport as a result of now we have to attain if we wish to undergo,” stated the Spaniard.

“I completely imagine that we are able to go there and win the match, if not I would not be sitting right here.”

Gunners have all of it to do

Arteta said he was in “shock” after his facet’s tame 3-0 give up to Liverpool final weekend, a efficiency which introduced stinging criticism from each followers and pundits.

He reacted by making six adjustments – three of which have been pressured due to accidents – to his beginning line-up, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang probably the most high-profile casualty.

“Well, I can not discuss with everyone individually each week,” Arteta replied when requested how Aubameyang reacted to being dropped.

“We attempt to be clear and talk with the gamers as clear as doable, for them to grasp the position of the sport that they’ve. When he got here on he confirmed the correct angle.”

Arsenal's players celebrate scoring against Slavia Prague in the Europa League
Arsenal have scored 28 targets within the Europa League in 2020-21

Aubameyang, who has 13 league and cup targets for his membership this season however none since 6 March, lower a annoyed determine as he watched Willian, from a free-kick, clip the surface of the publish earlier than Alexandre Lacazette raced by means of, solely to hit the bar.

Aubameyang was lastly despatched on after 78 minutes and made an affect as his move allowed club-record £72m signing Pepe to race into the field and produce a composed end previous keeper Ondrej Kolar.

But Arsenal did not see the sport out and Holes’ back-post header means Arteta’s facet have all of it to do towards the 2019-20 Czech champions in every week’s time.

Arsenal face massive Prague check

With the Gunners mendacity tenth within the Premier League desk, 10 factors off a high 4 spot, successful the Europa League represents their most real looking likelihood of securing a Champions League spot subsequent season.

They haven’t graced the Champions League stage since 2016-17 they usually face an enormous check subsequent week if they’re to make it by means of to the semi-finals of Europe’s second-tier membership knockout competitors.

While this was an enchancment on their earlier outing, Arsenal hardly ever appeared convincing towards opponents who’ve crushed Leicester City and Rangers this season.

Rob Holding had a header tipped over the bar when the sport was goalless, however on the different finish Bernd Leno saved Jan Boril’s deflected shot whereas Lukas Provod hit the publish earlier than Holes acquired to a rebound contained in the six-yard space to go his facet stage within the 93rd minute.

Slavia Prague's players celebrate scoring against Arsenal in the Europa League
Slavia Prague have crushed Leicester City and Rangers within the Europa League in 2020-21

‘It’s a nightmare for Arsenal – evaluation’

Former Arsenal and England participant Karen Carney:

“It’s a nightmare for Arsenal, completely devastating. Arsenal had plenty of probabilities, Slavia Prague ought to have been lifeless and buried.”

Former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown:

“It was about Arsenal and the best way they performed and by sitting off, I believed they selected the mistaken techniques. It’s a disastrous end result however it’s not the top.”

Arsenal’s defensive headache – the stats

  • Arsenal haven’t stored a clear sheet in any of their previous 14 video games in all competitions, their longest such run since December 2019.
  • Having misplaced their first three away video games towards English sides with out scoring a single objective, Slavia Prague have misplaced simply one in all their previous 4 such video games in European competitors (W1 D2), discovering the web every time.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s help for Arsenal’s opener was his a hundredth objective involvement in all competitions for Arsenal (84 targets, 16 assists).
  • Slavia Prague’s Tomas Holes scored his first ever objective in main European competitors, in what was his 14th look.
  • Arsenal stay unbeaten of their 9 European conferences with Czech opponents (W7 D2) – nonetheless, this was the primary time they’ve did not win a house recreation towards a facet from the Czech Republic.
  • Nicolas Pepe has scored (4) and been concerned in (seven) extra Europa League targets for Arsenal than another participant this season.

What’s subsequent?

Arsenal have an away recreation on the Premier League’s backside membership Sheffield United on Sunday (19:00 BST) to barter earlier than the second leg subsequent Thursday in Prague (20:00).

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Leno
  • 2Bellerín
  • 16Holding
  • 6Gabriel
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 18ParteySubstituted forElnenyat 78′minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 7SakaSubstituted forPépéat 78′minutes
  • 32Smith RoweSubstituted forCeballosat 88′minutes
  • 12WillianSubstituted forMartinelliat 73′minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forAubameyangat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Ceballos
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 19Pépé
  • 22Marí
  • 24Nelson
  • 25Elneny
  • 30Nketiah
  • 33Ryan
  • 35Martinelli
  • 44Hein
  • 49Lopez Salguero
  • 66Azeez

Slavia Prague

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Kolar
  • 5Bah
  • 3Holes
  • 6ZimaBooked at 47mins
  • 18Boril
  • 7StanciuSubstituted forMasopustat 84′minutes
  • 25HromadaSubstituted forSevcikat 45′minutes
  • 17Provod
  • 19DorleySubstituted forLingrat 69′minutes
  • 12SimaSubstituted forKuchtaat 69′minutes
  • 9Oladeji OlayinkaSubstituted forTraoreat 85′minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Tecl
  • 13Stejskal
  • 16Kuchta
  • 23Sevcik
  • 27Traore
  • 28Masopust
  • 31Kovar
  • 32Lingr
  • 41Višinský

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