Slavia draw with Arsenal to stay alive in Europa League

Sports Desk, Apr 8 (efe-epa).- Days after a 3-0 loss to Liverpool, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta suffered another disappointment Thursday as the Gunners conceded a late equalizer to Slavia Prague and leave the Europa League quarterfinal tie level at 1-1.

The hosts dominated for long stretches and it looked like job done when Nicolas Pepe broke the goal-less deadlock in the 86th minute, yet Tomas Holes brought Slavia level deep into stoppage time to put the pressure on the Premier League side heading into the second leg in Prague.

Arsenal got a chance to take the lead in the 5th minute when Bukayo Saka met a pass from Alexander Lacazette in the box, but a Slavia defender knocked the ball away at the last second.

Slavia’s Oscar Dorley ventured a shot from outside the area a few minutes later only to see his effort bounce off a teammate and away from Bernd Leno’s goal.

In the 15th minute, Lukas Provod fired over the Arsenal cross-bar.

Gabriel headed a Saka free kick into the ground in the 24th minute and a Rob Holding header was tipped over the Slavia cross-bar with six minutes left in first-half regulation.

Arsenal’s Willian hit the post with a free kick from a good position early in the second half and Leno denied Jan Boril as the game was approaching the hour mark.

Lacazette hit the cross-bar. Thomas Partey fired wide in the 75th, minutes before Arteta replaced him with Mohamed Elneny.

With four minutes left, Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – a late sub for Lacazette – sent the ball into to the area for Pepe and he put it past Slavia keeper Ondrej Kolar for the 1-0.

Provod forced a save from Leno in the 92nd minute and the ensuing corner found its way to Holes for the equalizer. EFE msg/dr

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