Arsenal blew Slavia Prague off the park with a devastating first half spell. Having had a goal ruled out by VAR, the Gunners responded when Smith Rowe set up Pepe to score at the near post.

Alexandre Lacazette doubled the lead from the spot after Bukayo Saka was fouled, and the young England international made it 3-0 with a brilliant strike a couple of minutes later.

A second half goal from Lacazette added some icing to the cake on a night they definitely deserved to win. Next up, a semi-final against Unai Emery’s Villarreal.

Here’s how the players rated.

Read the Slavia Prague 0-4 Arsenal match report and see the goals here

Slavia Prague 0-4 Arsenal – Player Ratings

The ratings are hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Shadshod

What a fantastic win! Just pray we don’t get knocked out by Emery…

Toni

We beat Villarreal a while back when Riquelme was on top of his game. We’ll beat them again.

AK47

Are we the same team?

Sachin

That team is great, but I think Mikel has shown he had out think the best. I for one would take on Emery over Ole at the moment

Jack

Did anyone else scream when Martinelli missed at the end? Absolutely roasted his man for pace and totally deserved a goal. Poor guy. Hope he starts Sunday

Gunnerlocutor

Henry said that trademark finish that he made look so easy was the result of a LOT of work on the training ground. Gabi needs to keep doing the same and those will be going in with regularity!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

You always knew where Henry would aim for, and he would usually score.
You always knew Adebayor would go for the same spot, but the keeper usually saved it.

Sachin

It was the same with Robben. You knew what he was doing, the defender knew it, the goalie did too and yet it would go in

Harry

So good to see. ESR is a special talent for sure. Complete team performance tonight but it’s so good to see him play again.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Not sure if it was BT pundits/commentators, or MOTD. When ESR scored the disallowed goal today, who else thought of that comment on Sunday about Martinelli’s goal, and ESR wouldn’t have been in the position to score if he were on the pitch.

Sachin

After having seen so many young future world-beaters not quite make it at Arsenal (Wilshere, Walcott, Ox, Iwobi – with the exception of Ramsey) I’m so happy that we have been given another chance by fate (and the excellent youth team setup) with Saka, ESR, Balagoun and plenty more to come

MGRD

I hope people realise that if you allow a player a run in the team he gains back his sharpness and shows what he can do,Nicolas Pepe is a class player and he’s starting to prove it hope he can make that lw spot his own

Sell Auba Saliba

I prefer Martinelli there as he is more direct but Pepe was good tonight.

davorsuker

Cut out the deadwood and they both will see a bright perspective in the club

Bryan!

We’re really spoiled for options up front*, it’s so hard to get everybody in there. I wonder if Gabi – #9 – Pepe in front of Saka – Thomas – ESR is the answer? Of course Gabi could potentially slot in at 9, and [this year or — fingers crossed — the future] Odegaard needs a place, but I’d love to see it.

*Not saying they’re all necessarily superstars, but a lot of guys who have the potential talent of regulars on a UCL club.

MSPgoon

Yea, exactly! Up front there are like 6 or 7 either good/great or high-potential. Midfield… a bit less so….

Vaibhav Pandey

I will put up Balogun as 9 once he is ready and back him up with Pepe/Saka/ESR/Odegaard/Martinelli

Gunnerlocutor

His composure for the goal was outstanding. And his celebration was like, “No sweat, I’ve done this before.” More of that please!

Charle

I’d be very interested to see him start up top in the league if Auba is out for a while. I’m a little unsure why it’s not really come up given the role he played at Lille. Especially if Gabi plays on the left.

Chamakhyungpark

Yeh, it’s really madness that Arteta picks the ex Chelsea player over him sometimes. It really really annoys me actually. Pepe has been our most dangerous player all season but isn’t given enough minutes. Him and Saka can form a pretty lethal partnership on the wings with Smith-Rowe or Odegaard in the middle.

CarlosLA

Huh, it’s almost as if not playing Willian is a good idea. Who’d have guessed?

Sorry, couldn’t resist. So much fun to watch Arsenal play with pace and forward drive.

COYG!!

Gervinho is Driving

ESR so, so good: vision, risk-taking, execution. David Silva-like nimbleness over the ball.

Dr Zebra

Yes definitely! We’ve been missing that one-touch quick passing that Rosicky/Santi used to offer us. ESR already has seen the pass well before the ball even comes close to him and that’s how we need to play more in general

john

Pepe, finally getting a run in the team!

Dave

Kylian Mpepe

Man Manny

An authoritative performance. That is the way to put a second rate team where they belong.
We hardly went out of second gear. It could have been an embarrassing score if we kept our foot on the throttle.

RistoJ

Arsenal won’t see that much space in front of them for a long while. Slavia were naïve or perhaps underestimated Arse. They didn’t need to push us, just sit and let us come to them. Instead we sucked them in, and run counters. Well done Mikel, used our weapons so effective. Glorious night

Sachin

They were poor, true, but we didn’t get complacent and always had the hunger. That spirit is a credit to the manager.

RockyRog58

ESR & Saka absolutely different gravy Pablo & Robaldinho such a good partnership Xhaka ??? He’s Arsenal through & through & by does it show !!! Special shout out to Chambo too he was excellent tonight & has been since he got into the side But ESR & Saka man ??? How lucky are we to have our youngsters

Sachin

Callum Chambers fully justified his place in the team. I hope he has a future with us

Aleksander Włodarz

That was as good Czechmate as could be from the Mighty Guns … bring on the Villarreal !

Johnny 4 Hats

If Leno gets a 7 for that performance then I deserve a 7.5 because I also did nothing for the 90mins but had a cheeky tug at halftime.

A Different George

How do you know what Leno did at halftime? Might deserve an 8.

Public Elneny

Might as well take advantage of Saliba not being around to film it

Jens

What a magic

Baichung Bhutia

These are the kind of games where I get the belief I could do what Leno does.

Dave

Harsh to mark someone lower than a 7 when they’ve done everything asked of them.

BillyKrystal

Why did ref give me deja vu nightmares? He fucked us once before, didn’t he? Luckily he never needed to “influence” the game this time.

Neál Martin

I don’t know if it was the basking in a three goal lead or the strain of weed. But Steve McMananan sounded like he knew what he was talking about

YOLO Toure

Mate Macca gets unfair treatment, I think he’s actually an excellent co-commentator. Not as great a pundit, but I really like him on commentary!

Charlie George

He offers no analytical insight whatever, “to be very honest.”

He literally describes what you just saw happen, but with words. And an occasional high-pitched shriek.

Jens

I will take McManaman over listen to Gary Neville or Jermaine Jeans any day of the week

Long chops

He’s an absolute Wally

Fabregooner

Very much so

Spanish Gooner

As a real treat he is sometimes the guest commentator in Spain when Madrid/Barca/Atleti play an English team in the Champions League – somehow his scouse accent is stronger in Spanish than in English!

HomeGrownGooner

Anyone else think Xhaka was unbelievable in this game?

Aside from the fact he’s playing out of position, he didn’t put a foot wrong. Physically dominating, won every 50/50 and then followed it with supreme composure. Short passing was smart and accurate when needed to be and he sprayed it long down the line a few times to break with Pepe.

MOTM for me.

Baichung Bhutia

I would have Pepe as MOTM. When the line up was announced I was disappointed with the full back options but have been proved wrong. Thought both Xhaka and Chambers were very good.

Sachin

They were both supreme. With a little bit of work, Xhaka could be our Henderson/Milner.

OdalGooner

He was brilliant. Not just his constant desire and work ethic, but I really enjoyed his timewasting at the end of first half. He picked grass out of his boots and took half a day to take a throw-in as they were having a good spell. Perhaps my moment of the match, actually. He worked his arse off, jumped up every time he got down, and generally was a joy to watch. Calm passing, too.

Arsenalista

Really dislike this Slavia team for some reason, glad we smashed them. Completely agree with blogs by wanting to keep Pepe in the team, if he gets a run of games I think he can be really good.

Matthinc

No idea why the thumbs down. I completely agree. After what happened at Rangers was well glad we put them to the sword.

Charlie George

“For some reason”?

Being a bunch of racist c*nts is one good reason. I hope they enjoyed seeing who scored our goals. The butter bunch of c*nts.

They should have been thrown out of the competition and banned from Europe for a few years. UEFA is a joke.

Charlie George

You three who thumbs-downed that should be ashamed of yourselves.

There’s no place for racism I’m football or anywhere else.

Tumang

10 for everyone!

Heisenbird

2nd Bonus Rating: 11/10

All of the goalscorers were black.

Poisen

Why the hell are you getting a thumbs down??

Darren

I believe it’s preferred that it be spelled Black, maybe?

BsinGooner

Why should it matter whether are white or black or brown? Hence the down votes.

Kaj

It matters because the team they scored against had one of their players think Blacks are inferior. Thus all of the goalscorers being black is just *chef’s kiss*

goonshow

Doesn’t matter to us mate – but it clearly has mattered to Slavia; racicst comments made by some on their team have sadly gone uncensured by their club. Hence the delicious irony of our lads putting them to the sword the way Jesse Owens did to Hitler all those decades ago.
And if you’ve never watched the clips of Adolf storming from his ‘Imperial Box’ in his squeaky new stadium as the untermensch Owens ran his Aryan gods into the ground (again!) to win his 4th gold, you should – it’s a shining moment from a very dark time.

Walleye

Here is a fun one re Jesse. Went to a cardiologist a few years back. After the tests we chatted about my condition I was looking at a photo on the wall and stopped and said, why do you have a photo of Jesse Owens running for OSU. He said, Jesse is in but that is my father running for northwestern in second two yards behind in the 100. Big ten championship.

goonshow

Mate – you really do need to lift your head up and inform yourself on the broader context of the matches your teams plays… and their opposition!

Santi’s Smile

Missed the match. Just watched the highlights. Seeing Arsenal take the knee in front of a squad with racist in it made me proud to be a Gunner. Thrilled they backed up the statement with a thrashing.

BGD

A great ebening!

Sean

After his monster performance against West Ham, I would never have imagined being in this position a couple of weeks later wondering if Odegaard gets into the starting line-up. Just shows how impressive our attacking options are all looking at the moment. Couldn’t have come at a better time

John

Do you think if we keep him out we’ll be able to afford him?

ObiKing

Odegaard can play alongside Partey…

Vaibhav Pandey

We need to keep players fit and there will always be rotation ESR’s build cannot allow him to play 3 matches in a week so everyone is needed. I hope Mikel works with ESR and Saka on strength training in the summer.

Postman

Lacazette has scored 7 goals in the last 9 games.

Impressive, particularly after that horrendous Harry Maguire challenge, which saw him land on his head from height.

…good character shown by all tonight.

GraeB

Loved that stare Laca gave them whilst taking the knee – I think it showed how the team was set.

Rich

It was at this moment they knew… they f’d up

theoisnotastriker

10/10 for Laca kneeling in front of the Czechs!

CarlosLA

Had to watch with the sound off. What is the deal with the Czech’s not kneeling?

Poisen
  1. They are from the Czech Republic, so not really a diverse nation.
  2. They had a player get suspended for 10 games after he racially abused Rangers player Glen Kamara.
  3. They’re dickheads.
Rich

When you take into account the statement from the Czech government official about UEFA’s ban its not surprising:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/apr/15/czech-government-official-uefa-glen-kamara-ondrej-kudela-racism-ban

“Although you’re probably not used to it, let me tell you one thing. I very much appreciate the fact that the Czech public does not identify with your verdict, across the whole society. On the contrary, even if only for a short time, you have managed to unite ancient rivals. We will not kneel before you and no threats apply to the Czech football fan.”

Czech mate racist.

A Different George

This statement, which is even worse if you read the whole thing, is not from the Czech FA but, incredibly, from the government itself. And the guy who made this statement is not some nobody from the Ministry of Sport or something like that. He is, effectively, the chief of staff to the Czech presidency.

Sachin

Point 3 times a million.

Db10s

Plus they’ve been so adamant that they didn’t do anything wrong and unwilling to offer much cooperation with UEFA’s investigation. Then still maintained this stance even after significant evidence was found which was further seen in their little solidarity display in front of Laca.

Cechmate

We went on one knee before the match, but made them go on both during the match and had them on all fours (pun intended) by the end of it! All our goals were scored by men of colour, how fitting is that?!

Take it you…..Saka wouldn’t want me hurling abuses so….

Cranky Colin

I’m enjoying Ole believing his own bullshit

A Different George

This was especially impressive when we remember that several first-choice players (Aubameyang, Tierney, Odegaard, maybe Luiz) were missing.

mrugunner

Had auba played, we would not have been that good

C.B.

Or Tierney, as Xhaka would have been playing in midfield.

Baichung Bhutia

Did anyone else was worried that Ceballos was going to do some thing stupid in the second half after he was fouled. He was running around everywhere with so much energy – thankfully he calmed down.

Goonerink

Can you give Leno a 0 (null) rating like the subs?

’not involved enough to rate’

PatJ

I think Sajid Javid did a fine job as a referee tonight.

Torterrier

Made a change to see him not taking a few bungs.

Freddo

Love watching chambers play. Decent pace, without being electric. Tough as nails without being dirty. Very effective with the ball at his feet. Provides good height at set-pieces. Better, I think, than the energiser bunny.

Greg in Seattle

I totally agree with this assessment. I can’t tell if he’s essentially taken over the RB job, or if he’s in the shop window. I hope the former.

Jens

I don’t think Mikel would start him in our most important game of the season to drive his price up haha

Vaibhav Pandey

He has accumulated enough experience to play any role from CDM, CB, WB he is very good squad player but again he is turned like AMN and don’t get me wrong every team needs such players.

Public Elneny

I’m just glad that he seems to instantly be back to where he was physically before the injury. Martinelli too

A lot of players look quite weak, slow and willowy for a while after serious knee injuries until they regain stability and confidence, eg Holding, Bellerin, Walcott. Sometimes it doesn’t ever come back – Bellerin, Walcott

Props to our physios/fitness team I guess?

Guns Up

Can’t imagine Unai is going to enjoy breaking down the video of this one for his players.

RedSigmund

10/10, especially to Laca, for taking the knee so defiantly in front of a team whose inaction on their player’s racism has been appalling

Gunner08

Chambers has to be rewarded for coming in the last few games and playing quite well. We gave him a chance to prove he can play first time football and he has he had risen up to challenge. Can’t see why not to give him more playing time.

Dave

Wish English refs could control a game like that.

Daveo

I like when he presented an empty card to one of our players (I can’t remember who), it made me chuckle!

Gunner08

I believe it was martenelli

Dave

I think he told Pepe off and mimed giving him a card in the first half.

The Arsenal

Kudos for Chambers coming back from a long injury and getting himself back into the first team after his good run of form last year. Lacks a little pace but has great injury constantly overlapping and getting involved has quickly proven he is a much better footballer than both Bellerin and Cedric. Also another solid assured game form Mari.

Vaibhav Pandey

Bellerin is a dickhead in decision making, while Chambers in general has good footballing sense.

Sachin

He looks so assured reminded me of the reason why Wenger signed him up. BTW have to say I love Rob, too.

Daveo

I’m not even sure he’s as slow as he’s made out to be. Chambers (and Cedric at RB) have really made Bellerin a saleable asset without really damaging the team’s quality.

A Different George

Bellerin is one of my favourite players, and I think many Arsenal supporters consistently underrate him. That said, I understand why we would sell him–no one (other than Saka, and that’s not going to happen) would bring us a higher price. I don’t think it’s out of the question that a Bellerin for Odegaard deal is possible.

Sachin

Bellerin won’t play at Madrid if that’s what you are implying. Not only do they have three better RBs (Carvajal ,Odriozola, Vasquez), Bellerin is a proud Barca product.

I love Bellerin. He’s an incredible character and teammate. That said, if we get an upgrade (/future upgrade) we should replace him. We are no longer the team that can carry players.

Santori

Much better form the team today. Still not quite where we should be commanding a match but good spells and more focused. 1) Leno – Not troubled which is what we need to be doing, keep the ball away from the goal, block crosses and shots, play in the other half as much as possible. 2) Chambers – Good to see him continue his momentum in his Natural Position. Smart movement and worked hard. Good assist to Saka for the third. Its a position he can make his own for next season should we find good price for Bellerin. 3)… Read more »

Daveo

Good summary. I disagree on your writeup on Xhaka though. Why do you need to bring Partey into his rating? Partey was excellent, absolutely excellent tonight, ball retention, but also driving defense into attack at high tempo. Something we have not been able to do for a long long time at Arsenal, and this is exactly why I wanted him over Aouar. As for Xhaka he was very very good too (esp out of position). His defense was excellent and the fact he played deeper actually weirdly created more space for Pepe because we attacked down the right channel so… Read more »

Lego Stare

10/10 for beating the team that racially abused former gunner Glen Kamara. Saka and ESR probably extra motivated for this game as a result.

Vaibhav Pandey

Thanks for sharing this fact

Tommmy

10/10 for Laca giving the knee infront of a bunch of racists.

Classic me I missed the game but just caught up on the highlights. This was so powerful!

Oh and the two goals after just add to the power.

Gary

Thought Ceballos gave an exrtaordinary effort tonight. Covered every blade of grass

Sachin

agree… but against a better team, our midfield would have been torn apart. We were stretched in the centre of the pitch. For me Ceballos doesn’t have the discipline or the personality to play as one of the 2 CMs.

Walleye

Anyone notice AMN was MoM for WBA Monday? There is so much young talent.
Chambers as a RB is a revelation. In any sport players miss-sized for their position usually create problems for the opposing team. Chambers covers so much ground without appearing “fast”.
remarkable the impact esr is having. I have been realistic about how much progress the team can make in one season. Yes it has been very uneven, but progress is happening. Mikel seems to be figuring out who can play and who can’t.

A Different George

I am one of the people who thought Chambers was simply too slow for a modern fullback. Maybe not. And much more assured on the ball than I remember him. We know, from his season at Fulham, that he is confident as a 6, with decent passing range. Ad no reason to think he cannot be a centre half, as he used to be. So, at worst, an excellent squad player, which is not an insult.

Walleye

100%

mrugunner

Pepe plays better when auba is not in the team.
Well the team in general

Arsenalnut

I’m happily drunk. Given that many of our best players (ESR, Saka, Martinelli, Gabriel for sure and Saliba, Nelson, Azeez and Balogun, maybe) are very young/inexperienced, as is our coach, I feel pretty good about the future. Arteta has made some awful mistakes-primarily playing Willian as much as he has and not playing Martinelli at all; and Pepe in situations where he can prosper. He’s also learned some great things. When we need height (which is pretty often) and the opposition has no speedy winger Chambers is a beast. He drives the ball toward goal, has good connections with most… Read more »

Duny

ESR is a true gem. Time and again, he saves our season

Pea14

Apart from the players who have done ever so well tonight, think credits should be given when due to MA. He tweak to a back 3 and front 2 in a game that is a must win. He got balls to change it

Dave

Pepe from the left is a different beast.

Geefive

I’d give a 10/10 to Holding’s smile after Olayinka complained to him about a tackle….love it. I hope Stuart got a pic of it.

Gabidabadoo

Good performance. Shout out to Pepe and Mari. Both growing into this side. Two issues.  Must build this side around the free flowing two-footed dribblers viz ESR, Saka and Martinelli. Clear that Odegaard does not fit. Slows the flowing attacks and stutters because so left-footed. Ceballos so one footed, also slows attacks – total passenger last night. Send them both back to RM.  Subs. Arteta just doesn’t seem to have a feel for subs. Perfect chance to have a look at Azeez for Ceballos last 15 mins and also Balogun for Saka. Why bother with Nketiah- he’s never going to… Read more »

Arsenalnut

Listening to the Arsecast Extra. Blogs just said Xhaka can’t be a long term solution at Left Back. I wonder. I’d compare him with Everton’s retired Leighton Baines in his pomp. I think Xhaka’s a slightly better defender. Baines had more freedom to roam. Neither had/has outstanding speed. Xhaka is so much better when he doesn’t face his own goal, as he often does in the DCM role when facing a sternly pressing team. I’d prefer Tierney, of course, but it appears we can operate successfully with Xhaka at Left Back. Given our limited resources I’d choose on-boarding a starting… Read more »

Greg in Seattle

It’s been referenced before that Xhaka is repeatedly deemed important by managers and finds himself in the team again and again. I don’t that’s an accident. The reference at one point by Arteta that he’s crucial to our “structure” speaks to me. There is no perfect player and I think he’s going to be in a position in this team as the defense solidifies and Partey beds in to maximize his strengths (which are meaningful strengths) and minimize his weaknesses. He clearly bleeds for the badge and you need those guys, and to have one that is also of his… Read more »

Philip Visser

Confidence and self belief are getting higher. And last night – plus parts of previous performances – shows players and coach getting closer to tactical and technical required and desired. Lot of work though to sustain that high level throughout the full game