Arsenal Smoke Up Prague
It was one of those nights where you feel great to be an Arsenal fan as the Gunners thrashed their hosts, Slavia Prague 0-4 on the night to win the tie 1-5 on aggreage, having drew one all at the Emirates last week.
Arsenal blew a plethora of chances to finish the tie from the first leg and needed to ensure that same doesn't repeat itself in the second leg, away at a team that were undefeated on their home ground against the likes of Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester City.
The Gunners who were without their captain, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang through illness and Real Madrid loanee, Martin Odegaard through injury, thought they had gone ahead in the 14th minute when Emile Smith Rowe turned in the rebound of a Bukayo Saka long range effort which came of the post. VAR ruled out the goal after adjuding that Smith Rowe was offside when Saka let the ball fly.
But it would take the 2019 finalist just less than five minutes later to finally find the opening goal. Nicholas Pepe showed good composure at the neat post to hit one over the Slavia Praha goalie, Ondrej Kolar after a fine run from Emile Smith Rowe to play the Ivorian on.
It was a barrage of successive attacks from there on and it paid off when in the 20th minute of action, Bukayo Saka was brought down in the penalty area. Stand-in captain, Alexandre Lacazette cooly slotted the resulting spot kick into the right bottom corner. The goal meant Lacazette has scored all seven spot kicks he has taken for Arsenal this season.
As the North London side were not looking to slow down and, perhaps, make up for the disappointing outing in the first leg, they were rewarded with the third of the night, all in the first 24 minutes of the encounter. This time, it was English sensation, Bukayo Saka who was the architect of the earlier penalty that finally found his scoring boot with a well placed effort from the just inside the box. The young lad now has four goals and eight assists in 15 games for Arsenal in the Europa League.
The Gunners sealed the night with another goal from Lacazette in the 77th minute to win the game 5-1 on aggregatee, taking his tally to six in seven appearances in the competition this season.
The win meant Arsenal ended Slavia Prague's run of 33 unbeaten games at home with the host not able to register a single shot on target on the night. This was the first time in the 21at Century (since 1932)that Arsenal have score at least three goals in four consecutive away matches, having scored three each against Olympiacos, West Ham United and Shefffield United.
They will now face former manager, Unai Emery's Villarreal who displaced Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 on aggregate in the semifinal.