Arsenal v Slavia Praha Live Commentary, 08/04/2021

1 - 1
N. Pépé (86)
T. Holeš (90+3)
Emirates Stadium


Thank you for joining our coverage, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until next time, goodbye.
Arsenal travel to face Sheffield United next, while Slavia Prague host local rivals Sparta Prague.
There goes the final whistle! Arsenal thought they'd won the game late on as Pepe dinked home from Aubameyang's pass in behind following the introduction of both off the bench, but Slavia scored an injury-time equaliser to give them a precious away goal, with Holes heading in from a corner. It finishes 1-1 at the Emirates, with the second leg in Prague to be played in a week.
T. Holeš
Slavia Praha
90' + 3' GOAL!! SLAVIA PRAGUE ARE LEVEL!! The corner is swung into the mix and it takes a deflection off Pepe that sends it straight into the path of Holes, who heads in at the back post with Leno only able to parry it into the roof of the net! It's 1-1!
90' + 2' SAVE! Provod thumps a fearsome strike towards the near post and Leno flings himself across to palm the strike onto the woodwork and behind for a corner!
90' OVER! Boril swings a cross to the back post from a deep position on the left and Bah reaches it first, but he can only head over the bar from a tight angle!
Dani Ceballos
E. Smith Rowe
88' Arteta makes another change in the aftermath of that goal, replacing Smith Rowe with Ceballos in midfield.
P. Aubameyang
86' Aubameyang received the ball with his back to goal, took it down and then played a pass into space that was right into the path of his fellow substitute Pepe.
N. Pépé
86' GOAL!!! ARSENAL TAKE THE LEAD!!! Aubameyang holds the ball up well and prods it in behind for Pepe to chase. The Ivorian shows incredible pace and determination to get to the ball first and then demonstrates poise as he dinks the ball delicately over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the far corner! It's 1-0 to Arsenal!
I. Traoré
P. Olayinka
Slavia Praha
85' Another change follows soon after for Slavia, with Olayinka heading off the field for Traore.
L. Masopust
N. Stanciu
Slavia Praha
84' Trpisovsky makes another change as the game nears its conclusion, with Stanciu replaced by Masopust for the final few minutes.
83' OVER! Martinelli is fed by Pepe on the edge of the box and he drives at the defence before lashing a thumping left-footed strike that takes a deflection and loops agonisingly over the bar!
81' Arsenal are playing with far more urgency and purpose now. A goal for the Gunners feels like it is coming with the way they're attacking all of a sudden.
79' WIDE! The substitutes make an immediate impact, working the ball quickly and sharply down the right before Smith Rowe cuts it into Aubameyang at the near post, but the striker steers just wide from a tight angle!
P. Aubameyang
A. Lacazette
78' The final change is no surprise, with Lacazette replaced by club captain Aubameyang up front.
Mohamed Elneny
T. Partey
78' The second change sees Partey off for Elneny in midfield as Arteta introduces fresh legs in the centre of the park.
N. Pépé
B. Saka
78' Arteta makes a triple substitution now as he searches for a winning goal. His first change is a surprising one, with the lively Saka going off for Pepe on the right.
77' WIDE! A low cross into the Arsenal box is only half-cleared as far as Sevick, who lashes towards the near post from just inside the area but sends it wide!
75' WIDE! Saka lays the ball back off to Partey on the edge of the box and the midfielder tries to guide it inside the near post, but he steers it wide of the target!
73' Arteta makes his first change of the evening, replacing the quiet Willian on the left with Martinelli.
71' The Arsenal players are furious as they are denied the opportunity to break away down the right due to the referee blowing his whistle instead of playing advantage. The man in the middle holds his hands up in apology.
O. Lingr
O. Dorley
Slavia Praha
69' Meanwhile, Dorley is also replaced by Lingr on the right wing as Trpisovsky makes a second positive change.
J. Kuchta
A. Sima
Slavia Praha
69' Trpisovsky makes a double-change now as he looks for an away goal. His first change sees Sima replaced by Kuchta up front.
66' OVER! Arsenal work the ball down the right well and Saka works a yard to fizz the ball across the face of goal, but Lacazette is stretching as he meets it and turns it over at the back post!
64' Arsenal have played with more energy since that horror miss from Lacazette. Perhaps they are trying to compensate for that wasted opportunity.
62' CROSSBAR! HOW HAS LACAZETTE NOT SCORED?! The striker presses high, wins the ball on the halfway line and finds himself with a free run at goal! He drives into the box, opens his body up and places his shot past the onrushing goalkeeper, but somehow manages to guide it onto the crossbar! It looked harder to miss than score!
60' Arsenal have shown less poise and control since the start of the second half and they aren't dominating the ball in quite the same way at the moment.
58' SAVE! Slavia break forward themselves and Arsenal are caught out, with Boril charging into the box from left-back and thumping an effort at goal that takes a slight deflection off Bellerin, but Leno manages to keep it out with an outstretched leg!
56' Arsenal twice counter with purpose but the final action is disappointing on both occasions. First, Partey drives into traffic on the edge of the box and is dispossessed with plenty of team-mates forward, before Saka's right-footed cross is way overhit and sails over everyone.
53' Gabriel goes down holding his ankle after challenging for an aerial ball. There's a brief stoppage as the defender is seen to by the medical staff and he's taken to the sidelines to be checked over, but eventually is able to return to the fray.
51' A miscommunication between Gabriel and Leno sees the centre-half concede a corner when the goalkeeper could have gathered. Arsenal weather a short spell of pressure, but ultimately get away with it.
49' POST! Willian steps up to the free-kick and tries to bend it around the wall and inside the near post, but it clips the outside of the post and goes behind!
D. Zima
Yellow Card
Slavia Praha
47' Zima is also booked now for hauling Saka back in a promising position right on the edge of the box.
47' NO PENALTY! Saka bursts away from Zima using his searing pace and the defender hauls him back before the youngster goes down in the box! However, the initial contact was outside the area and the referee awards a free-kick instead of a penalty!
46' We're back under way for the second half!
P. Ševčík
J. Hromada
Slavia Praha
46' Trpisovsky makes a half-time change now, bringing Hromada off for Sevcik in the centre of midfield.
Arsenal's first-half performance showed glimpses of promise - they dominated the ball and Saka looked very threatening - but Arteta will want more ruthlessness from his side in the final third. Trpisovsky, on the other hand, will expect an improvement from his team in virtually every aspect after a lacklustre 45 minutes.
There goes the half-time whistle! Arsenal largely controlled the game but created few clear-cut chances, with the lively Saka bending just wide of the far post from a good position and Holding seeing a close-range header tipped over the bar. Slavia rarely threatened the Gunners' goal in what was a rather quiet half for the visitors. It remains 0-0 at the break.
43' Lacazette turns after dropping to receive the ball and threads a lovely pass in behind for Saka, who once again darts down the right and crosses into the mix, but it's behind for a corner that eventually comes to nothing.
41' Arsenal have won 67% of their games when Saka and Smith Rowe have started together this season (8/12), compared to 41% when they haven't (14/34). The former has been particularly bright today and everything positive has gone through him.
39' SAVE! Lacazette's free-kick hits the wall and comes back out to the right flank. It's fizzed back in by Saka, but the Arsenal players in the middle are caught on their heels! The Gunners still have it though and it's lofted into the middle once more by Cedric, but Holding's header from six yards out is just tipped over the bar!
38' Saka dances inside on his left, coming in off the right flank, and he's scythed down just outside the box. The free-kick is in a prime position to strike at goal.
36' Olayinka cuts onto his left on the edge of the box before trying his luck, but he doesn't catch it right and scuffs it straight down the middle where Leno gathers comfortably.
34' The flow of the game has been disrupted by a few stoppages over the last couple of minutes, with Saka penalised for a soft nudge on Boril as the ball comes over the top towards them. 
32' There's a brief pause as Xhaka stays down holding the back of his head. He's given a moment to recuperate and is eventually able to continue without the intervention of the medical team.
30' MISS! Saka is found making a superb run in behind by Holding and is one-on-one! He drives towards goal and goes for the bottom corner with his left, but he doesn't get the curl he's looking for and places it wide! The angle was tight, but he looked certain to hit the target from there!
28' WIDE! Thomas drives purposefully to the edge of the box before offloading to Lacazette on the right side of the box. The striker takes one touch but then swipes wildly at the ball, slicing his shot wide of the near post!
26' Arsenal deliver dangerously into the Slavia box twice in the space of a minute. First, Holding latches onto a poor clearance and flashes the ball across the six-yard box, but Lacazette can't quite get there. Saka then fires into the mix and it almost breaks for Willian, but Slavia clear again!
24' WIDE! Saka takes the free-kick and it curls deep to the back post where Gabriel backpedals before heading into the ground and wide of the target!
23' Willian earns a free-kick very close to the left corner flag after a raking long ball by Gabriel down the flank. This is a good set-piece opportunity for the Gunners.
21' Saka shows great positivity on the right, shifting the ball towards the byline and whipping a cross in towards the back post, where Lacazette and Willian are waiting, but it's headed just clear!
19' Gabriel surges all the way out of defence to combine with Smith Rowe on the left wing. The latter exchanges passes with the centre-back and whips it into the box, but it's repelled.
17' Holding looks for a long ball over the top for Saka, but the centre-half gets too much on his pass and it bounces out of play. That was a little hopeful from the Arsenal defender.
15' OVER! A big switch to the right sees Bah charge towards the byline from right-back before lofting a cross into the middle that is headed out as far as Provod just outside the box. The midfielder tries to guide it in from distance with his left foot, but sends it just over the bar!
13' Saka links play well again down the right as he finds Bellerin with an incisive ball into space. The right-back bursts forward and fizzes a low cross into the middle, but it's hacked clear before it can reach Lacazette.
11' Saka shows quick feet on the right and opens his body up before playing the ball over the top for Lacazette to chase, but he just gets a fraction too much on the pass. Lovely vision to spot the run, though.
9' BLOCK! Dorley takes a first-time shot at goal from outside the box after a corner is repelled, but it strikes a team-mate and bounces clear!
7' Arsenal press up the field as Slavia try to play out and Kolar skews a very wayward ball straight out of play for a throw-in. He still had a little time, but the goalkeeper did not look comfortable on the ball there.
5' CHANCE! Lacazette plays the ball in behind and Saka races into the box to meet it, but a sliding challenge just takes the ball away from him as he's about to pull the trigger! 
3' The opening stages are a little scrappy, with neither side able to settle on the ball and control the game.
1' We're under way at the Emirates!
Arsenal are unbeaten against Czech opposition in European competition (W7 D1), keeping seven clean sheets in eight matches; they have scored 22 times and conceded only twice across these games.
The only previous matches between Arsenal and Slavia Prague in European competition were in the group stages of the 2007/08 Champions League – Arsenal won 7-0 at home before drawing 0-0 away. In the 7-0 win, five of Arsenal’s goals were scored by players aged 20 or younger (Walcott x2, Fabregas, x2, Bendtner x1).
Slavia boss Jindrich Trpisovsky, meanwhile, makes four changes after his side were held to a 0-0 draw against Brno in domestic action. Masopust, and Kuchta drop to the bench, while Taras Kacharaba and Mick van Buren miss out. Boril, Dorley, Stanciu and Sima start in their places.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta makes six changes from the side that started in the disappointing 3-0 defeat against Liverpool last time out. Cedric, Bellerin, Xhaka, Willian, Saka and Smith Rowe all come in to the side - with the latter two back to full fitness. Ceballos, Pepe and club captain Aubameyang are dropped to the bench, while Calum Chambers misses out alongside injured duo Kieran Tierney and Martin Odegaard - who join David Luiz on the treatment table.
Slavia Prague substitutes: Stanislav Tecl, Denis Visinsky, Ibrahim Benjamin Traore, Jan Kuchta, Premysl Kovar, Petr Sevcik, Lukas Masopust, Ondrej Lingr, Jan Stejskal.
Slavia Prague XI (4-3-3): Ondrej Kolar; Alexander Bah, Tomas Holes, David Zima, Jan Boril; Nicolae Stanciu, Jakub Hromada, Lukas Provod; Oscar Dorley, Abdallah Dipo Sima, Peter Olayinka.
Arsenal substitutes: Mohamed Elneny, Karl Hein, Reiss Nelson, Dani Ceballos, Miguel Azeez, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari, Mat Ryan, Nicolas Pepe, Joel Lopez, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Cedric Soares; Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Willian; Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal will be eyeing a third Europa League semi-final in four seasons as they bid to qualify for the Champions League through this competition and will hope for a strong start at home against Slavia Prague tonight. 
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Europa League quarter-final first leg clash between Arsenal and Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium in London.