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Arsenal reach Europa semis as Slavia Prague succumb to Gunners might

Arsenal emerged comprehensive winners in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie against Slavia Prague, as they won 4-0 last night at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague.

Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka made the difference for the Gunners on the night, as they progressed into the semi-finals with a 5-1 aggregate win.

The match got off to a start on a controversial note as the Slavia Prague players refused to take the customary knee before the encounter, as a gesture of support towards the Black Lives Matter movement.

Arsenal starting XI v Slavia Prague

After the first leg at the Emirates Stadium ended 1-1, it was Emile Smith Rowe who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute – but his goal was ruled out for offside by the VAR. Arsenal registered themselves on the score sheet again only four minutes later, and this time it stood – as Smith Rowe turned provider to set up Nicolas Pepe for an easy finish.

Arsenal got the chance to double their advantage when they were awarded a penalty after Bukayo Saka was taken out by Jakub Hromada inside the area. Alexandre Lacazette stepped up from the spot, and calmly converted by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Arsenal scored their third of the night soon after, when Saka sprinted through the Slavia defence down the right flank, and then cut inside onto his left foot and drilled the ball straight into the bottom right corner of the net.

It was 3-0 inside the first quarter of the match, and the tie was all but over – before Lacazette added a second in the second half to make it 4-0. It was a lovely counter-attacking passage of play for the North London outfit, as Saka found Pepe who squared the ball to Lacazette in the box, who fired it into the back of the net with conviction.

Arsenal will go on to face Villareal in the semi-finals, managed by their former head coach Unai Emery.

Post-match interview – Mikel Arteta

Post-match interview – Bukayo Saka

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By Sagarneel Chakraborty

Living and breathing everything regarding the beautiful game for a decade. Avid follower of all things football, with a soft corner for the Blues.

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