Report: Arsenal 1-1 Slavia Prague (inc. goals)

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Result: Arsenal – Slavia Prague
Competition: Europa League
Date: 8 April 2021
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Willian, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette

Subs: Ryan, Hein, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Pepe, Mari, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli, Azeez, Lopez



Tomas Holes’ stoppage time header snatched a 1-1 draw for Slavia Prague on a night when Arsenal were made to pay for a host of missed chances. 

The Gunners thought they’d secured a late win when Nicolas Pepe, played in by fellow substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, dinked over keeper Ondrej Kolar on 85 minutes. 

However, there was a late sting in the tail of this quarter-final first leg when the visitors, outplayed for much of the game, pounced at the back post after Mikel Arteta’s side failed to deal with a corner.

Pre-game

Already without Kieran Tierney and David Luiz – both sidelined by knee injuries – Mikel Arteta also had to make do without Martin Odegaard who succumbed to an ankle injury initially picked up in the Interlull. On the plus side Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Granit returned after sitting out the Liverpool game. They formed the crux of the midfield with Thomas Partey, and Willian also in the mix. The boss also made the big decision to drop captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang meaning Alex Lacazette started. At the back Cedric went to left-back, Bellerin started right-back with Holding and Gabriel partnered in the middle. On the bench, youngsters Miguel Azeez and Joel Lopez took up places alongside the lesser spotted Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah.

First Half

Dominant in their domestic league, it was no surprise that Slavia looked organised from the off. They were happy to sit back, to slow things down and to suck the life out of any Arsenal hopes of a fast start. To be fair, we didn’t exactly push the issue. Unsure how to break down the lines of black and tentative in our passing, we looked the more nervous of the two sides.

As the half wore on, the Gunners worked out that Saka clearly had the beating of his man. Lacazette had found the England international with a pass behind the defence as early as the 5th minute and while he couldn’t escape his marker on that occasion, it was a tactic we rightly kept trying. Unfortunately, for all his energy, our number 7 lacked an end product.

Just before the half-hour mark, he was played in on goal by a slide-rule pass by Holding but with only the keeper to beat, he curled well wide of the far post. It was a bad miss and he was clearly disgusted with himself. On a couple of other occasions, he either failed to pick out an Arsenal body in the box or held onto the ball so long that he was closed down. It was a frustrating half for the youngster.

By and large, we were the better side. Slavia managed a couple of efforts on goal – one right down Leno’s throat and another over the German’s bar – but Thomas Partey’s telescopic legs and the hustle and bustle of those around him ensured we won a lot of turnover ball.

We also had joy pouncing on the poor distribution of keeper Ondrej Kolar. Time and time again he tried to chip balls to the flanks only to fluff his lines. Holding took advantage on one occasion to play a one-two with Saka before firing in a dangerous cross. Our centre-back also had a fine chance to score, forcing Kolar to tip over his header from a Cedric cross after a Lacazette free-kick had been blocked.

Second Half

Arteta must have rubber-stamped the “give the ball to Saka” routine during the break because the winger was immediately sent through on goal by Bellerin. This time Slavia defender Zima resorted to tugging him down. It looked close to being a penalty but the referee correctly awarded a free-kick on the right diagonal of the box. Willian stood over the set-piece and curled a beauty of an effort against the outside of the post.

Saka was released again two minutes later but his decision to loop a cross to the back post when he should have committed his man meant the momentum broke down again.

At the other end, Leno had to deny Boril with his legs after Slavia let off some steam on the break. It was a decent stop by the German given the effort took a nick off Bellerin.

Just past the hour, we squandered yet another chance. Lacazette did brilliantly to win the ball on the halfway line and he somehow, despite a distinct lack of pace, managed to get to the area unchallenged before deciding where to put the ball. He opened his body and tried to find the top corner and ended up hitting the bar. It was a very bad miss.

The Frenchman had another chance four minutes later. At the back post, he lunged to reach a Saka cross but couldn’t control the finish and hit over from only a couple of yards out.

Rather than turn to Aubameyang for cutting edge, Arteta handed Gabriel Martinelli 18 minutes to shine. The Brazilian replaced compatriot Willian on the left wing.

Partey and Sevcik traded further misses – both golden opportunities – before Arteta sent on Pepe, Aubameyang and Elneny for Lacazette, Saka and Partey. They nearly made an instant impact. Pepe freed Smith Rowe whose cross found Auba but he couldn’t direct his side foot effort on target.

Next up, Martinelli fired over. It was all Arsenal. We just needed someone to find a finish. With four minutes remaining, it finally came. Aubameyang chased after a ball through the middle, managed to win it off his marker and played in Pepe who showed really good pace before dinking the keeper with a perfect finish that crept inside the far post. (1-0)

Having failed to keep a clean sheet in living memory, the big challenge was not panicking. Of course, we panicked. After Leno had made a fine save to deny Provod, we couldn’t deal with the resulting corner where Tomas Holes headed home from close range to grab a vital away goal in stoppage time. (1-1)

As the final whistle went, Arteta had the look of a man who could kill. His side doesn’t know how to make life easy for themselves. We have it all to do when we head to Prague next week.

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C.B.

So annoying

SB Still

The manager (team selection) and the players (performance) continue to serve some bullshit.

Johnny 4 Hats

Does anyone know if we are a pressing side?

Ozzie

We are a DEpressing side.

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Not to sound too depressing but apart from captain Tierney, saka, ESR, martinelli, partey aaaand may be Gabriel … Who else do we want to keep?
So that leaves us with about 15 senior players to get rid of .. and the manager, and the executives, and the owner?

Thierrys_Tears

You owe Johnny for that sitter.

Ozzie

Sure, cheers Johnny for the assist. I showed Laca how to finish

Comedian

Oh fck this side. Can fck off the whole lot with the manager. Training ground videos looked more energetic than this. Mikel fucked this up.

How did we not even test their keeper is beyond imagination, he looked like conceding with just a back pass.

Johnny 4 Hats

It’s all very well that Arteta is Fodening Gabi. The only problem is, City have other good players. We are not a squad that can afford to have talent on the bench.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Exactly – if he’s keen to preserve young players, why play W. or exhaust Saka and ESR when you’ve got someone like that?!

Comedian

He struggles with his subs, 18 months in the job he should have been better by now.
If we can criticise players for making same mistake, Arteta too can be blamed for his side lacking spark in most matches and confusing or late substitution.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

I hope he gets sacked now. I think a new guy could boost our chances of winning Europa and we don’t risk Arteta winning it and staying for an extra year.

Arsenalista

Not just that though, his starting lineups are pathetic.

Alter

Why do we have players like Azeez on the bench when Partey kept loosing the ball? Why do we have Lacazette on the pitch when all he does is miss an open goal, barely runs, barely makes an effort and critisizes everyone around him!

Goonertic

Maybe we should change his name to.. Lackofthreat

myrtle

A poor lineup and poor finishing came back to bite, no surprise.
Can anyone explain why our three best attackers are left on the bench until the 75th minute, with bottom off the league on Sunday. No? Me neither.

Lion

Auba was a sure bencher. So was matineli and Pepe. Poor finishing let us down. Not the line up

Johnny 4 Hats

To be fair, I thought the second half flew by. Then again, 20 minutes of it was the time it took Laca to reach the goal from the halfway line.

myrtle

Benched for what? Being forced to play wing back last game? Getting 5 or 6 chances in the last round?
He is our best striker by a mile and he changed the game when he came on. It was a shocking decision.

Lion

Auba has been performing at benteke levels for quite sometime now. His finishing has been off and yet that’s about all you will get from him. That said, he put in a good fight. It must have been the bench that helped him. I mean his assist must have surprised everyone including himself.

EuroDevision

He was benched because he’s been shit.

Vanvee

The only chance of anything this season is europa. Why not play our best xi every europa game? Makes no sense. Resting players for what? To win some league games and finish 8th?

Riku

Cedric did not need to pass it back to gab. Who made no extra ground. Cedric should have played it up field first time . Even out for a throw in.
Gab sliced throw in next to Cedric
then lost corner. After throw in. And the Prague players shot
Cedric pointless back pass. Get it out your half of the pitch

Thessaloniki

I didn’t get that either. We just panicked out of nothing in the last few minutes, so strange. Someone in midfield needed to show and get a few passes together. Arteta didn’t help either looks like the nerves got to him too, the way he was shouting at Bernd

goonshow

I cannot continue to watch the repeated (more than a DOZEN!) times we move the ball into their half, players make runs (yes, sometimes they actually do!) and yet within 2 or 3 passes we’re back with Leno trying to play hi-risk pass-out again.
This happened from open-play, from throw-ins, even from free-kicks!
It’s a manifestation of the greater malaise in this team: lack of both confidence and urgency.
If Mik can’t fix it… who is supposed to?

Johnny 4 Hats

If Arteta loses the second leg, can we get their manager?

TommyGun

Just a complete shambles at the moment. They can win the next leg, they just need to regroup and go for it. It was indeed seriously fucking annoying and sad to watch. We look like a mid table team. All this has happened on Kroenke’s watch. The buck stops with him.

EuroDevision

We are a mid table team.

A P

Hoho, your comments conveniently let Arteta off the hook.

GABBI

Arteta on the grounds of deliberately throwing the FA cup away. And not handling the period before Christmas well by being stubborn and failing to drop Willian Laca Auba Pepe who were bad in the early season. And his stubbornness to keep MArtinelli on the bench and start willing over him, and the fact that he handled the Saliba situation so terribly AND I could keep going… this europa league team selection, poor timing of substitutions Laca should’ve been off immediately after his miss. Arteta must be fired

Reality check

Emery with no communication > Arteta with great communication

gooner

‘If you took away the name ‘Arsenal’ and looked at that group of players… average.

‘At the end of the season, if I’m Arsenal, if I’m Arteta, if I’m on the board, to be honest with you, I think my main concern is getting half of the dressing room out. Honestly.’

Johnny 4 Hats

And we already got the “deadwood” out…

Biggles

There’s still room for trimming a fair number of the smaller branches though. The overall quality of the squad isn’t up to scratch.

Johnny 4 Hats

The whole tree might as well come down because all we have are green shoots.

I’d be listening to bids on everyone bar Saka, ESR, Gabi and Tierney.

Alex

The deadwood is no more here and the results are getting worse and worse. Food for thoughts.

Maniac

To be honest Arteta needs to get in the bin alongside many of those players. Clueless tactics today, yet again. Another game that we’re playing with 10 men because we need to accommodate Willian for who knows what reason.

karl

If I were Martinelli, I would be looking for a club willing to give me more than 10 minutes in the odd match.

Hank Scorpio

There is no compelling reason for him to stick around with Arteta in charge.

Comedian

Arteta has to take blame here too. I wasnt going to judge him this season on league with covid being a major factor, but he has had this whole period to experiment and get his game plan in place. Sadly like some players who never learn, Arteta continues to frustrate with his substitution and timing of it, by now he should have learnt.

Henkamp

The late substitutions are a BIG problem. We can be playing as shite as anything, and he would decided against making changes until the clock strikes the 70-minute mark. It does my head in every fucking time.

karl

Well, many of these players are either Arteta signings, or he renewed their contracts.

Homer

That’s flat wrong and you know it.

The only MA signing might be Willian.

Tomaury Bischfeld

After thoroughly enjoying the Champions League this week, watching this game put Arsenal in real contrast to the top sides in Europe. Do we still have aspirations?

Homer

Dude, you are comparing apples to oranges.
Or, comparing tuned Porches to a wrecked camero.

We’re nowhere near Bayern or PSG.

Having aspirations (who’s version, yours) versus having limitless resources are not the same thing.

FFS, we’re still in the tie.

Vaibhav Pandey

I don’t think everything was shite in the game, players missed glorious chances. Had those gone in everyone would be jumping their asses off!! FFS show some spirit, is this how you wanna move forward with or without Arteta. I see Arsenal fans running club to the ground like Newcastle fans do. Also I do blame KSE though for overall mess.

Reality check

No way this squad of players is worse that Villa’s or West Ham’s. Bad management from Arteta all year.. didn’t play an attacking mid untill almost new years and had us lingering around 15th.

A P

Arteta trained with Moyes, Wenger and Pep. Of all our dumb luck, he has to resemble Moyes.

Johnny 4 Hats

We need to talk about Thomas.

West Ham was pretty awful. Liverpool was very poor. Tonight was even worse. He’s a player who looks for all the world like he’s cruising. In truth, bar that immediate impact in the first few games, he’s been average. He’s clearly a very good player but we can’t have a £50m passenger in the side and the goodwill of the honeymoon period is over.

I don’t know how we do it. We’ve taken a Diego Simeone player and made him complacent.

Hank Scorpio

I believe it’s called the Arteta Effect

Petit's Handbag

The Arsenal effect

Maniac

Exactly this. When is the last time we bought a senior player and made them better? All they ever do is get worse at Arsenal, and then leave for a fraction (if any) of the price we bought them for.

Jules

Yup, I rate him really highly, but the way he was able to retain the ball so elegantly and effectively in the first few games has been missing for a while now. Before whenever he had the ball I was so confident he wouldn’t lose it, now I’m more nervous than anything else if I’m honest. Hope he gets back to his best soon because I really do think there’s a gem of a player there.

JoeSchmoe

He gave the ball away at least 10 times tonight. I was counting and then I just gave up. Very wayward and lazy….

Johnny 4 Hats

I hate to say it because I like him and he’s a genuinely talented player.

But in terms of mentality, at least at the moment, Viera he is not.

Gunner0304

Even with mentality he is far from Vieira to be honest

Homer

Vieira was one of a kind to be honest.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Upvote for your comment and for spelling “Vieira” correctly.

SB Still

Even Viera in this team and under this management will not be the Viera we know.

truj

Maybe he is not enjoying to play here.

atom

We’re behind Arteta b/c he’s our manager but let’s be honest – he’s done a terrible job this year. As Stillman laid out his/Edu’s recruitment has been little short of a disaster – Willian/ Auba (why pay him that money if we’re not going to play to his strengths) etc. On the coaching front – we’re playing a team that plays a high line with a back-up keeper and basically entire defense out & we choose to play Willian and Laca – easily our most conservative line up. This is not a title winning squad but it’s not a 10th… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Take away City, Liverpool and United and we should really be competing with the rest of the also-rans for 4th.

atom

We’re on pace for 53 points in the PL this year which would only be slightly worse than last year’s 8th place finish & 56 points, which was considered a complete debacle.

Even if we somehow manage to win the EL to get into the CL, can we really say this team has shown material signs of progress this year?

BillyKrystal

I shudder to to hink of us in the CL next year. We’d get our shit pushed in against almost anyone in the CL this year.

Hank Scorpio

Of course not. The question is do we take a gamble on more of the same with the expectation of progress next season. The ‘Trust The Process’ crowd want more. I’m not so sure. I’d rather cut our losses at season’s end if what we’re seeing now continues.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

If this were Tottenham, Man Utd or Chelsea, I’d be hoping the manager gets a contract extension. Saying that though, I do want Arteta to get another season with funds to bring in who he knows we clearly need. Let’s face facts here, most of these players are average/borderline shit

Hank Scorpio

I’m curious. Do you genuinely believe that the likes of West Ham and Everton have better squads than us?

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’d say our best players are better than theirs, but they both have more balanced squads and better, more experienced managers.
Who’s to say Arteta won’t learn from his faults and with a few better quality additions, he couldn’t take this team further. We’ve been shit for years, we already took a gamble appointing him, so why not stick with him for one more season.

atom

Stillman laid it out in way more depth than I could, but his /Edu’s decision making doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence so far. Saliba was a debacle – how do we not get the paperwork done? We told Eddie he couldn’t leave for a fee this winter & then proceeded to basically never play him again. Nelson – does he even play for us or is he in the witness protection program? Auba – we sign him to a massive contract only to stick him on the wing where he’s less effective. Willian – seriously who thought this was… Read more »

Ealing

And blindsiding AMN, we should’ve kept him, no matter what

You can see, for example Bruno at United that his arrival changed fortunes for Ole. As of now we are little too imbalanced and not enough quality in players who can elevate the performance of the collective. There are too many holes in the bucket to stop water from spilling!!

Spanish Gooner

He’s a lot like the Pepe deal: better than what we had and still a good player, but nowhere near worth what we paid for him. Our whole approach to transfers needs a complete rethink.

Alex

Pepe is fine, but when you break the bank for a player it should be your strategy to make him the lynchpin of your setup. Pepe has never been encouraged or developed or helped as far as I can see.

Hank Scorpio

He had that good run of games and then was dropped. I just don’t get it

Thessaloniki

Passenger? Bit harsh. To me he does 3/5 of the CM well, tackling positioning, carrying the ball in transition but then he overdoes the dribbling or can’t complete an ambitious pass. Simeone asked him to do only the first 3/5…

karl

He is probably confused with all the detailed instructions from the touchline.

The sooner fans enter the stadium, again, the better for everyone.

Vonnie

Agree he’s a worry, I don’t think he copes with pressure and his decision making seems slow. We paid a lot of money and he hasn’t justified it so far.

Alex

It’s 100% on Arteta Johnny

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m not totally absolving Arteta. But 10 yard passing is a given for a professional footballer.

SarcasmB0t

Thomas has real quality, which can’t be said for a number of players in the starting 11 today.

Anyone can have a bad game.

The issue is, if half the team isn’t up to the level, a good player having a bad game starts to look catastrophic.

GABBI

its the culture at the club that makes these players complacent. Like I said when he walked off the pitch against spurs. I said at that time if he was playing under Diego Simone, or Mourinho or Pep or Klopp would he dare just walk off the pitch like that? that was a massive sign of how weak the culture at arsenal is and the lack of respect for arsenal and the manager. But that’s also not his fault its because of what he sees happening behind the scenes at the club the culture is rotten. These players act like… Read more »

Spainicus

When we bought him the stats analysis on Arseblog indicated he was slightly above average. If the guy writing that article can work that out but one of the biggest football teams in the world can’t then we are employing the wrong people and I say give that Gooner a job before this club buries itself. He had a good game against Liverpool one time and all the evidence is cleared aside to see that highlights reel. He’s not one for the future either. Typical of the shoddy shitshow from top to bottom.

Lettra

West Ham was his best game . One of our best players against pool for what that’s worth. I think we watch football differently. The level of comments here are definitely worthy of “social media” Lots of uninformed opinions. I’m hearing Auba is a dud now as well? Wtf is going on have you all lost your F’ing minds? Everyone is screaming their heads of yet can’t recognise our elite players. Partey is fucking elite and I actually agree he hasn’t had the impact we wanted yet due to injuries . But you picking the games were he shows his… Read more »

Lakshya

When I said that I thought he was playing badly a couple of games ago, you told me that’s because I’m only focusing on his wayward shooting.
He is supposed to be technically secure, but he has started giving the ball away in midfield occasionally.

Jules

we are not very good at football

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Breaks my heart, it’s true

Maniac

Pretty much as clueless a performance as was possible today. The entire game plan is what? Be lethargic for the first 80 minutes then try to nick a goal in the dying embers? Also our inability to keep a clean sheet is just comical at this point. 14 games without not conceding a goal now. Surprised we don’t just hoof it into the net ourselves as soon as we go into additional time to be honest.

StuArse

This is getting ridiculous now.

Russ

We get one goal and think we’ve won the world fucking cup! Why do we take our foot off the gas?? 

Why are we making subs towards the end of the game? 

Fucking terrible, I’m really pissed off. 

Ozzie

Yep, those celebrations were embarrassing.
I thought the subs did well, we should’ve scored 2 more in the last 10 mins – it’s really hard to change the momentum of a game when you’ve played so crap the first hour, but they gave it a good crack.

Alex

The subs made so much difference it was embarrassing. Sometimes I get the impression Arteta isn’t making the best decisions for the team, but HIS ego is involved. Maybe I’m projecting.

But he is aiming for control, slowing things down, negative football. Not flair, energy, excitement.

When I see him shouting at Leno to play it, I’m really confused because his team setup, tactics and player choice say something entirely different.

Leaving out Pepe and Auba would have had me rubbing my hands if I’m the opposition manager.

I’m there. I don’t believe he’s up to it.

Hank Scorpio

O don’t think you’re projecting. His selections are either tainted with a desire to show he is right to persist with the same players or he picks his favourite yes men. The treatment of Willian compared to both Pepe and Martinelli is a great example.

Disarmed Gunner

It’s unquestionable that he has an ego. He only wears Prada and Gucci. Seems to be above wearing a tracksuit or a regular suit. Has to stand out. Ex players have confirmed he has an ego. When I see him “seething” at the end of the games, I have to laugh. Because it’s not that he is upset about the club. It’s that his fragile ego has taken another hit. It’s all about him. He should have been a politician, such is his ability to dupe an audience. Ever watch his press conferences? All hot steam and no end product.… Read more »

bobbyp

If Slavia Prague were the ‘easy’ team, we are knackered! This might not be a great Arsenal side, but we are surely better than what we are showing. We weren’t as bad as this under Emery, and he was sacked!

Andy

I think Mikel is out if we lose away. Looks like a man out of ideas and I’m not convinced all the players are behind him any more. Sad.

SarcasmB0t

Fans were in the stadium back then, and they made it clear they didn’t think it was good enough.

Arteta has said he doesn’t read social media, so there isn’t any pressure, really.

Shtopatth

Imagine being the manager of this team. They seem determined to fail at every single aspect of football.

Pooner

The manager is failing right along with them.

Qwaliteee

That’s on the manager….!! 🙄

Nketibag

That serves him right for starting with the snails.
The difference after 77 minutes when the best attacking players were on the pitch was clear. This tie should be out of sight.

goonshow

Single most eloquent example of what you’re saying:
compare Pepe’s high-pressure finish to Laca’s dithering cock-up.

Flash

Just what we deserved…

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

9th-dimensional mindscience.

Trust the process.

Magazine_Gap

Trust the process of process trusting.

goongot

#arteta_out yes board is shit but still manager needs to fcking go. what an pathetic gameplay we have widout our world class lb. this is 100% on arteta. i wont mind if we dont spend next summer, just get us an world class coach with track record of improving players.

Trust the process = good ebening protagonist.

Hank Scorpio

People here who keep repeating the ‘trust the process’ mantra remind me of cult members

Jill

Partey – Terrible
Bellerin – Terrible
Laca – Terrible
Willian – Terrible
Arteta – Terrible

The rest were average.

Ajay

Saka was also average.
Changes should have come at half time, at least. Does Arteta have the balls to make changes. I don’t think so.

Jill

Ye but Saka gets a pass, he’s 19, coming off an injury and still looked like our best player going forward

davorsuker

I lost the plot at this point.
I don’t where we are heading…

Biggles

Let’s hope it’s not to Hell in a handcart.

Voldermort

Subs made far far to late…piss poor again . Yet another poor showing down to Arteta yet again

Henkamp

If that was Emery today, Laca would have come off at half time.

This late substitution has been my one grouse with Arteta. I am tired.

cygan’sbaldspot

Manager may have lost me tonight. Anybody else losing faith rapidly?

Magazine_Gap

Question is: who still trusts the hairstyle?

Swifty

We are not good.

Kostas

Another glamorous European night

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

It seemed their scorer politely asked hector for shirt, he didn’t even bother to respond, too snobbish ?
We are pathetic anyway

Ipal Taka

I think he told him that he’ll get it inside, but that’s just my impression

Glenn Gomes

Yes, I too noticed that. Poor sportsmanship from Bellerin

Maniac

In fairness I think UEFA has banned, or at least discouraged, the swapping of shirts due to covid, so I wouldn’t read too much into that.

Spanish Gooner

Absolutely shite. Awful first 77 minutes and disgraceful from Arteta to wait that long to change anything. Pepe and Auba made an immediate difference, then it was shameful play from the defence to concede the corner and switch off. If we don’t win next week I don’t see how Arteta can survive.

bored

Cedric lost the plot in the injury time. Firstly, after receiving a great clearance pass from Gabriel, he chose to pass the ball back to Gabriel, instead of pushing forward. Pressure ensued, and Leno had to make a great save.

Following the save, under no particular pressure, Cedric kicked the ball to gift away a corner.

Then, of course, he got out-muscled at the far post in the resulting corner.

Henkamp

That was ALL on Cedric. At the beginning of the game, whenever he was under any pressure and unsure, he put his foot through the ball. Why make that pass to Gabriel at the dying minutes of the game, to put him under pressure?

evaristus asobara

AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Sagebrush

MA very obsessed with this Willian character, why? That was very close though. These Slavia team runs and runs and runs, fuck.

Truther

Thierry Pepe; but what the heck.

Public Elneny

Done with Arteta. Awfully coached side, players’ confidence in themselves and eachother completely decimated

I can accept a young manager making some bad decisions with transfers, man-management, team selections etc. But when his vision of football is slow negative drudgery, and he can’t even set that up properly, what is the point in having any patience in him? So that he may one day develop into a manager of the calibre of David Moyes? Come on

Bossman Bill

Moyes currently has West Ham in 4th, playing effective football.

Public Elneny

If he has a career like Moyes he’ll have done very well in the scheme of things

But a manager like Moyes is absolutely not someone who should be managing a club like us

Goldfingered

Enough now. It’s time to sack Arteta and get a real manager at the end of the season. Get someone who can motivate, or scare the shit out of this lot of lazy primadonnas. I wouldn’t mind a George Graham at this point. Arteta might be a brilliant coach but he’s an appaling manager and a disaster in man management. The attitude and will of the players were nonexistant from the beginning. It did get better but we are always capable of kicking ourselfs in the nuts and that’s getting more and more frekvent with Arteta in charge. We were… Read more »

Tomaury Bischfeld

With 4 subs, we didn’t have to wait so late to make changes affecting the game. A real refresher when Martinelli, Pepe, Auba came on. We could have done with at least one of them much sooner. Another turgid performance. Partey was well off today. Willian, no comment needed.

Der32

Cedric suicide pass to Gabriel, and Gabriel should’ve cleared first time, but somehow I knew we would concede when he took an extra touch. This team has decent ability, but we have the mentality of amateurs. Absolutely shocking yet again. This team never fails to amaze me. Players and coach all need to take responsibility for this utter shite.

Fred Merz

I honestly don’t understand how this mentality seems to have lasted for like six years now.

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

6 ?
The day the likes of Vieira left, we are struggling with amateurish mindset.
And the ones who had a fighting mindset, couldn’t hold on to playing standards

Robin

This is also what cost us against Villa, he’s done this a few times. Losing Tierney could cost the whole season

Ozzie

What on earth’s happened to Gabriel??? Our best defender until 3 games ago!

Declan Varley

I think the real Thomas Partey is untying himself from a cupboard in Madrid. The one we got is his brother.

Sank

I don’t get this team. Do they practice or does Arsenal just post promotional photos and training videos

Haha 😄. We scored, I went to the kitchen to get some water, returned and the score was already 1-1.

It will be a miracle if we win this competition.

Sleep well everyone.✌

goonshow

Should been a whiskey mate… or haven’t you been watching us this season?

karl

The team look tired and bereft of ideas now. If they support Arteta, they certainly don’t show it on the pitch.

There were many Arsenal teams with poorer players achieving more in the past.

Homer

You either forgot or never experienced the Denilson, Johan Djourou, and Silverstre days.

Be happy in that …..

Qwaliteee

Those lads made the top four.

This current lot can barely make the top half.

Billp79

Can’t hold the ball for five minutes???

Dave

I’m going to be honest, I’m jealous of how good organized and drilled and coached that Slavia team looked, fair play to them, what a good team. If they had players with a bit more technical ability they could’ve been even more hell to us. And about us, not much to say, more of the same, dull, kicking ourselves in the foot time and time again, not playing pepe or Martinellin since the start because our manager loves Willian is criminal, etc etc. Don’t have much faith we can win this cup, let alone this tie (tho would be thrilled… Read more »

Pooner

Abject. It’s really sad to see how far we’ve fallen and nothing I’ve seen this season can convince me we’re heading in the right direction. When the chips are down this set of players fold every time.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Abjection sustained.

Henrik

Im not proud to be a gunner. Hope slavia wins next game.

Tapps

I am absolutely NOT having that! Pro-Arteta or anti-Arteta our loyalty absolutely HAS to be pro Arsenal. If you’re wishing for an Arsenal defeat, you’re on the wrong website.

Homer

Hear hear!

Qwaliteee

Plastic comment, mate.

Never wish defeat on your own team. Get a grip.

Man Manny

We must get used to this. Sadly, this is our level right now.
Arteta is unravelling big time.
What team selection was that?
How Shaky Gabriel starts ahead of Mari is beyond me.
We might go away and get a result (which I think we will), but what’s the point?
Emery is licking his lips already.
Sad times to be a gunner.

Mac

This was a poor team selection. Although I’m glad Auba didn’t start on the wing as it would have been worse.

… and Martinelli is being wasted.

Wake up Mikel.

Qwaliteee

He needs Piers Morgan with a megaphone bellowing ‘Wake Up!’ down his ears.

arseblog

Nobody needs any Piers Morgan.

Qwaliteee

🤣👍

Jules

I think if we can get anywhere near 30 million for bellerin in the summer we should jump at it, I just don’t think he’s getting any better and I also don’t think he’s very good.

Jules

his defending is average, his marking is way off, his touch isn’t great, he’s lost a lot of pace, his link up play is mediocre, he doesn’t get into dangerous positions the way Tierney does, and he can’t take throw ins. He genuinely offers virtually no attacking input and his defensive input isn’t good enough. Can you think of even one time today that he contributed significantly to our attacking play? Because I really can’t

Biggles

I agree, but I don’t think we’ll get that for him. Apart from the subdued market, potential buyers will have seen what we see and will probably adjust their valuation accordingly – which is unlikely to be upwards.

Ealing

Not 30, But he’s in the sale bin,

Spanish Gooner

£30 million? We’ll get 10-15

Qwaliteee

Arsenal’s problems go way deeper than Bellerin’s chequered form.

Hector has actually been one of our better players during the Arteta administration thus far. He was the catalyst for our Cup Final winner last August too.

Gunnerdub

They ebb away at my Optimisim game by game!

Jean Ralphio

Started with the wrong line up. Still, we had the better chances and should have won the game. I’m sure we can beat them. Right? Right?!

I think that Arteta set the team up with an eye on that second leg and energy levels. Let’s hope Odegaard is back.

Homer

Right here. This!

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

He must leave. He must leave before the second leg.

Ajay

Does Arteta have to wait until we are almost dead before he makes a change. FFS

Public Elneny

And then as soon as we get the goal he instructs them to go straight back into jittery backwards mode

Ozzie

And to think, we hammered Slavia Prague 7-0 with a worse line up than the one we had tonight (Bendtner, Eboue, Walcott, Alminia…)

Qwaliteee

Another one in the eye for the Wenger Out Brigade.

eddymc2

Walcott gets way too much disrespect, for me.

StuArse

Would rather see Nelson over Willian, really don’t rate Ceballos, Gabriel and Holding don’t seem to function well together, Partey is in a funk passing to nowhere, Cedric is limited at left back and bloody hell why can’t we just keep the ball?!

Infuriating!!!!

Fatgooner

Well done, Arsenal: we managed to completely fuck up a tie against possibly the weakest team left in the competition. We should have won this by 3 clear goals and be talking about the semi-final. Instead we’re sweating over a second leg that now looks a bit tricky. Laca, Saka and Auba all should have scored. Instead it was Pepe coming off the bench who finally broke the deadlock. But if we don’t do clean sheets and yet again conceded a shit goal to home them the advantage. If we go out to SP then it will be a joke.… Read more »

Der32

Sadly we are already a joke.

Homer

Come on. This cup is a longshot at best.
We just need to make a good go at it, which today was not.

BUT we are still in this tie.

Billp79

We have to give Edu and Mikel this next window…still some dead weight to shift on
Sabila will make a difference and some depth alongside of thomas and back up to teirny. Solid right back competition/ right cb

goongot

good try arteta.

SarcasmB0t

give them the sack, you mean

Tombo

This ones on arteta. Team selection, lack of changes. Absolute shitshow

Qwaliteee

The results have been on him all season.

The players tactics have been micro managed to the point that any break is immediately checked and passed sideways or backwards – it’s like watching a fucking chess match. There’s no freedom of expression and consequently no one can be bothered. We lose possession with ease, when we actually do have the ball we look timid/lazy/panicked delete as applicable to midfield/ forwards/defence.

I like Mikel Arteta, but he’s out of his depth and he’s now completely lost the dressing room.

Hank Scorpio

He should be gone at season’s end. I could to some extent wear this if Arteta was playing the kids and we were inconsistent. But they’ve largely been ignored, preventing them from getting experience and devaluing them in an already depressed market, and added to that his selections and tactics are baffling. All the shouty carry-on from the touchline leaves the players second-guessing themselves.

Qwaliteee

There’s no ebb or flow to our play – as you say, the players have been given so many instructions, they’re constantly second guessing themselves. How many times during a game do we see a player beat his man and then check back and look to play it inside or behind. The only catalyst for movement on the break is – to credit where it’s due – from Xhaka. Then we get it out wide and the move breaks down – and this is down to the manager over egging the pudding. As for his team selections, let’s not go… Read more »

goonshow

Partly agree but I cannot accept that any manager is responsible for players constantly losing the ball or misplacing passes (or just mindlesly hoofing it into touch!)… these guys are well-paid professionals!
Arteta’s selections and substitutions (or lack thereof) are sometimes a mystery, granted – but keeping the ball and passing it to a bloke wearing your shirt is bloody u10s stuff… and that is ALL on the players.

Qwaliteee

All those mistakes that you mention are down to a lazy mindset. As I have said in other posts, the players have become disillusioned with The Process to the point of apathy. There’s no urgency, no fear, no respect. They’re simply going through the motions. That’s down to the manager. All this chat about the Non Negotiables is hot air, because the players clearly don’t respect him. As manager, Arteta is the only one who can fix this mindset – but I fear it’s too late. I think he’s already lost the dressing room, particularly the experienced senior players. Their… Read more »