Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 1-1 Slavia Prague

AFC

Slavia Prague -

Emirates Stadium
Europa League
Europa League
  Arsenal
      
                  Pepe (86)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Pepe (86)
1 1
  Slavia Prague
      
              Holes  (90 + 3)
          
   crest
Slavia Prague
Holes (90 + 3)

WHAT HAPPENED

We conceded a 93rd-minute equaliser to leave our Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague on a knife-edge heading into the return leg next week.

We missed a host of chances in a frustrating game at Emirates Stadium, but just when it looked like we would be denied, Nicolas Pepe raced in on goal to score the opener with four minutes remaining.

It looked like a precious win was on the cards, but with almost the last kick of the game Tomas Holes stole in at the far post to head in an equaliser and an away goal for the Czech side.

It sets the tie up for a tense second leg in Prague next week – and Mikel Arteta will demand far greater efficiency in front of goal than he saw here.

The game got off to a tentative start, with neither side able to truly dominate what proved to be a tepid first half – although the better chances fell our way.

The best of which fell to Bukayo Saka, who was played in by Alex Lacazette early on only to be dispossessed in the area – and then the same combination ended with the teenager curling a shot wide on the half-hour mark.

Other than that there was little to report, although Rob Holding did go close with a close-range header that was tipped over five minutes before the interval.

We needed to up the tempo after the restart and nearly made an immediate breakthrough when Willian struck the post from a free kick after Saka was fouled on the edge of the area.

We had a golden chance to break the deadlock just after the hour mark when Lacazette dispossessed the last defender and raced clean through on goal. The striker drew the goalkeeper, but his shot hit the bar and flew clear.

It was a big miss, and the French striker had another chance moments later when Saka whipped the ball across goal but he poked it over on the stretch.

Thomas Partey fired wide from the edge of the area as we sought a late opener, although it was the visitors who should have had it as a miscued clearance from Cedric fell to Petr Sevcik in the box, but he shot off target.

It was a big let-off, but could we make Prague pay? Arteta made a triple sub, as Aubameyang, Pepe and Mohamed Elneny came on for the closing stages.

Within seconds, some sharp, one-touch play saw Smith Rowe find Aubameyang in the area, but he sliced his shot wide as there was suddenly more urgency to our game.

Gabriel Martinelli then had a shot tipped over the bar as we piled on the pressure, and finally – with four minutes remaining – we had our goal as Aubameyang fed Pepe on the break and he dinked the ball over the keeper and in.

But there was to be one final twist as, with seconds remaining, Slavia whipped in a deep cross and Holes headed in from close range.

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded with our play-by-play commentary.

WHAT IT MEANS

The tie is tensely-poised heading into the second leg next Thursday in Prague, although Slavia will feel at an advantage as they boast an away goal.

WHAT’S NEXT

We’re back on the road this weekend as we travel to bottom club Sheffield United for Sunday evening’s Premier League clash.

We haven’t won in the league at Bramall Lane since April 1991, although we did win there in the Emirates FA Cup quarter final last season, with Dani Ceballos scoring a last-gasp winner.

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