Arsenal played host to Slavia Prague in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-final clash on Thursday. The last time both sides met was in the 2007-08 season of the UEFA Champions League, where the Gunners recorded a 7-0 victory.
In the first 45 minutes, both teams had their fair share of scoring chances, with Bukayo Saka and Rob Holding coming closest for the home team. However, the Gunners were often denied by the woodwork as well as inaccurate finishing.
With less than 10 minutes on the clock, substitute Nicolas Pepe finally broke the deadlock and gave Arsenal the lead. Unfortunately, Mikel Arteta's joy was short-lived when his side allowed Slavia Prague's Tomas Holes to score a crucial away goal.
In a game where Arsenal should have scored at least three or four goals, here's how the players performed.
Arsenal player ratings vs Slavia Prague
Bernd Leno made a couple of vital saves to deny Slavia Prague. However, there was little he could have done to prevent his opponents from scoring in the final minute of the match.
Hector Bellerin: 6/10
Hector Bellerin offered very little in terms of attacking but made few mistakes at the back. There was nothing exceptional from the right-back, who should have linked up with Saka more often.
Rob Holding: 6.5/10
Barring his poor long balls at the start of the match, Rob Holding made crucial interceptions throughout the game and even had a couple of brilliant chances to get onto the scoresheet.
Gabriel did well enough to nullify Slavia Prague's attacking threat for the majority of the game. He was aggressive on the back and tried his best to ensure that his opponents stayed away from Arsenal's penalty box.
Cedric Soares: 6/10
Unlike Bellerin, Soares offered slightly more options in the final third of the pitch. Having said that, the Portuguese was partly responsible for not keeping Holes at bay and allowing him to score against Arsenal.
Thomas Partey: 6/10
It wasn't Thomas Partey's best performance in an Arsenal shirt as the Ghanian lost possession too many times. Yet, it is evident from this game that his preferred midfield partner is Granit Xhaka. Partey looks most comfortable when playing alongside the Swiss international.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10
Granit Xhaka enjoyed a solid game on his return from illness. He dropped deep when necessary and allowed other players to advance when Arsenal had the ball.
Bukayo Saka: 7/10
The young Englishman was presented with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock in the first 30 minutes of the game, but he failed to make it count. Overall, although Saka was Arsenal's brightest spark going forward, his finishing left much to be desired.
Emile Smith Rowe: 7/10
Emile Smith Rowe's presence in the starting eleven made a difference to the game. He created some chances for his teammates and worked well with Saka as well as Alexandre Lacazette.
Willian came close to scoring his first goal for Arsenal, but his free-kick in the opening minutes of the second half was denied by the woodwork. Like the rest of his teammates, he was a little sloppy on the ball.
Alexandre Lacazette: 6.5/10
Alexandre Lacazette had a quiet first half as the visitors stifled Arsenal off possession. However, the French striker should have scored when he broke away from Slavia Prague's defenders and skipped past the keeper. Instead, his attempt on goal hit the crossbar.
Gabriel Martinelli: 6/10
With less than 20 minutes remaining, Gabriel Martinelli was called into action. He immediately brought energy into the Arsenal side and nearly netted a goal. If given more playing time, the youngster should have been able to make an impact on the game. It was puzzling why Arteta chose not to bring on Martinelli earlier in the second half.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6.5/10
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came close to scoring right after he came on as a substitute for Lacazette. Unfortunately, his attempt failed to hit the target. Minutes later, the Arsenal captain combined with Nicolas Pepe for a much-needed goal.
Nicolas Pepe: 6.5/10
Nicolas Pepe's excellent finishing gave Arsenal a short lead in the fixture, but he also had a role to play in Slavia Prague's equaliser towards the end of the game.
Mohamed Elneny: 6/10
Mohamed Elneny didn't have much to do after coming on, but he couldn't prevent his side from conceding a late goal.