Arsenal FC

Slavia Prague 0-4 Arsenal: Player ratings as first half blitz sees Gunners progress

Ross Jackson
Apr 15, 2021, 10:02 PM GMT+1
Arsenal were superb in the first half against Slavia Prague
Arsenal were superb in the first half against Slavia Prague | Martin Sidorjak/Getty Images
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Arsenal blew Slavia Prague away thanks in no small part to three goals in six first-half minutes to secure their place in the semi-final of the Europa League on Thursday night, as Mikel Arteta's side ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

After Emile Smith Rowe's early strike was ruled out for offside, the Gunners finally took the lead thanks to a lovely bit of play from Nicolas Pepe. The Ivory Coast international did brilliantly to stay on his feet having ridden a couple of challenges before firing high into the Slavia net.

Just a few minutes later the visitors were handed the chance to double their lead on the night as Bukayo Saka was hauled down in the area, with Alexandre Lacazette stepping up to coolly slot home the resulting penalty.

With less than 25 minutes on the clock it was 3-0 to the Gunners as Saka drove infield before firing his effort inside the near post.

The rest of the game suddenly became something of a procession, with the home side showing very little endeavour to give themselves a foothold in the tie, and Lacazette's second of the game 13 minutes from time added a little more gloss to a quality performance.

That's the match highlights done with, now to those Arsenal player ratings...

ARSENAL PLAYER RATINGS

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Bernd Leno started in goal for the Gunners
Bernd Leno started in goal for the Gunners | Martin Sidorjak/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) - 6/10 - Given very little to do on the night as Arsenal continued to flood forward. Did the simple things well but little more he could have done in fairness.

Calum Chambers (RB) - 7/10 -
A solid display as he continued in the right-back position. Offered plenty going forward and never looked like being beaten in his own half.

Rob Holding (CB) - 5/10 -
Made a few late challenges in the second half and was lucky to escape without a booking.

Pablo Mari (CB) - 7/10 - Won everything Slavia threw into the box and didn't really put a foot out of place all evening.

Granit Xhaka (LB) - 6/10 -
Asked to fill in at left-back and did a good job considering. Used his range of passing well to spread the play from his deeper position.

2. Midfielders

Emile Smith Rowe lunges into a challenge
Emile Smith Rowe lunges into a challenge | Martin Sidorjak/Getty Images

Thomas Partey (CM) - 6/10 - Kept things ticking over in midfield and offered a security blanket in front of the defence in the second half.

Dani Ceballos (CM) - 5/10 - Pretty tidy in possession but let the game pass him by somewhat.

Emile Smith Rowe (AM) - 8/10 - Showed some lovely bits of close control and rarely gave the ball away in the centre of the pitch. Combative, aggressive and never gave up fighting for possession. A very mature display for such a young player.

3. Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette doubles Arsenal's lead on the night
Alexandre Lacazette doubles Arsenal's lead on the night | Martin Sidorjak/Getty Images

Nicolas Pepe (RW) - 7/10 - Brilliant bit of play as he opened the scoring on the night. Used his pace well in the second half as he looked to stretch the home side's back line.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - 7/10 - Cool penalty to double his side's lead. Did a good job of leading the line and took both of his goals very well.

Bukayo Saka (LW) - 8/10 - His influence on this Arsenal team just continues to grow. A very good performance as he grabbed himself a goal and an assist to drag his side into the last four of the competition.

4. Substitutes

Mohamed Elneny (CM) - 6/10

Gabriel Martinelli (ST) - 7/10

Cedric Soares (RB) - 6/10

Eddie Nketiah (RW) 5/10

Folarin Balogun (ST) - N/A

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