Late Slavia Prague equaliser ‘leaves a difficult taste’ for Arsenal boss Arteta


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said he was left with a ‘tough taste’ after the Gunners slipped to a 1-1 Europa League draw on Thursday night at the Emirates, visitors Slavia Prague snatching a draw in the 93rd minute to leave the tie. and really open ahead of next week’s second leg.

After the Gunners’ grim 3-0 loss to Liverpool this weekend, Arteta unsurprisingly made six changes for the clash with the Czech side, with Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all falling on the bench.

These changes seemed to do the trick for the North London side in the first half, with the return of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in particular providing a much needed spark for the hosts as they took control of the opening exchanges.

Although he largely controlled the first half, Arsenal didn’t really bother Ondrej Kolar in Slavia’s net, with the best chance of the half falling on defender Rob Holding as the Englishman saw his head tilted by- above the crossbar.



The home side then had a glorious chance to take the lead 15 minutes into the interval, with Alexandre Lacazette escaping on goal, but the Frenchman inexplicably managed to hit the post with only the keeper to beat.

Arteta’s men then took a deserved lead with less than five minutes to go, Aubameyang kicking off his other substitute Pepe, the Ivorian magnificently throwing the ball on the Kolar in a hurry for his fourth goal in the competition. this season.

This late effort seemed to be the winner for the hosts, only for them to see Tomas Holes appear with a header at the back post in the 93rd minute to snatch a draw for Jindrich Trpisovsky’s side.

The agonizing late equalizer left the tie firmly in the balance ahead of next week’s second leg, with Arteta admitting his side had the game ‘under control’ before sliding to that late equalizer.

“The game was under control. We got the goal we wanted but we also missed some big chances, ”he said. BT Sport. “We played two or three balls that we shouldn’t do and we got on the back foot and conceded the corner. They put bodies in there and it can happen. It changes the feeling after the game.

“We know we had the opportunity to turn things around with five substitutes. We thought it was the right time for the setup we had. It was the right time and they made a big impact. We know that submarines have a lot to say in this competition. Unfortunately, we did not capitalize on it.

“It’s difficult because they were a good opponent. They have beaten big teams and are really difficult to face. They have a lot of man to man situations and you have to solve them. When we did this, we created opportunities, but when you can’t, it’s not easy.


“We were efficient in our high press – they had the ability to run in transition if they got the ball back, but we controlled that well. It’s more about the end result that leaves a tough taste.

With the return leg set to take place in just a week, the Spaniard has revealed his side’s goal is clear.

“We have to win the game. The mentality is to win the game, we have to score, we have already done it and we have to do it again.

Arsenal are next in action against Sheffield United on Sunday in the Premier League.

Read – Fantasy Premier League – Four of the best captains for game week 31

See also – Champions League Team of the Week

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