Premier league news National media issue damning Arsenal verdict after late Slavia Prague drama Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - Arsenal were forced to settle for a draw in the first-leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening
Breaking News ! Arsenal were forced to settle for a draw in the first-leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium last night, playing out a 1-1 stalemate. The Gunners, who face bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday evening at Bramall Lane, thought they had done enough to seal a valuable win ahead of next week's second-leg when Nicolas Pepe handed them the lead with just four minutes of the contest remaining. The Ivorian, who was heavily criticised by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher following Arsenal's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend, made the most his pace when it mattered most to get in-behind the Slavia defence and dink the ball over goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, handing the Gunners a 1-0 lead and, to everyone's thoughts, the victory. Read More Related Articles What Granit Xhaka shouted at Cedric and Rob Holding as Mikel Arteta's plan for Arsenal fails Read More Related Articles One Arsenal player singled out for impressive Europa League moment despite Slavia Prague draw However, the Czech champions, who have already knocked Leicester City and Rangers out of the competition on route to the last-eight, netted a last-gasp equaliser through Tomas Holes. The defender arrived at the back-post to connect with a corner to deny the Gunners the win and net a crucial away goal ahead of the second-leg. It was a bitter pill for Arsenal to swallow as they had created enough chances over the course of the 90 minutes to win the game and put themselves in the driving seat ahead of the second-leg. Now, Mikel Arteta's side know they must travel to the Czech Republic and score if they are to progress to the last-four and continue their Europa League advantage. But after suffering a late, damaging blow, meaning they are now winless in their last four matches in all competitions, the national media have had their say on Arsenal's display in this morning's newspapers. Here, football.london has taken a close look at how some of the national press reported last night's late drama at the Emirates Stadium, as well as delivering a critical assessment of midfielder Thomas Partey's performance. Read More Related Articles Arsenal send anti-racism message as Slavia Prague refuse to take the knee in Europa League clash Read More Related Articles Every word Mikel Arteta said on Xhaka altercation, Aubameyang decision, Odegaard and Slavia Prague The Sun "Criticism has thus far eluded Arsenal’s £45million summer signing Thomas Partey – and perhaps rightly so," Jordan Davies wrote for The Sun. "A disrupted pre-season, niggling injuries and a lack of consistency from those around him has certainly impacted the Ghanaian midfielder’s debut campaign in North London. "But as another big game passed him by in disappointing fashion, questions now need to be asked. "Partey’s arrival from Atletico Madrid was a welcome and impressive coup – with Gunners fans hoping to finally find that box-to-box athletic anchor to replicate legend Gilberto. Thomas Partey has struggled to have a major impact in his first season in England. (Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images). "Marauding runs forward. Aggressive precision in the tackle. A steely grit to drive the team. Yet despite his fitness issues, those qualities have been few and far between. "He has shown glimpses. His capabilities on the ball from deep have helped Mikel Arteta’s men out of some sticky situations more than once. "But ‘glimpses’ are not what Arsenal spent their precious pennies on when bringing an experienced 27-year-old midfielder to the club. "Expectations were high with fans dreaming of a Gilberto and Patrick Vieira-style future captain rolled into one. Right now, he is way off any such comparisons." Read More Related Articles Granit Xhaka's explicit seven-word message to Arsenal teammates after Slavia Prague slip-up Read More Related Articles Martin Keown agrees with Gary Neville over defining Mikel Arteta moment at Arsenal Mirror "They were not good enough to see the job through - and now the whole season is hanging by a thread," John Cross wrote for the Mirror.
. "But the grim truth is that Arsenal got what they deserved because they look a second rate team which is flatlining towards mediocrity. "Arsenal wasted a host of chances, hit the woodwork twice and then eventually went ahead through substitute Nicolas Pepe’s 86th minute opener.
These are testing times for Mikel Arteta.
(Image: Getty Images)
"A strong, disciplined and experienced team should be able to see out the game with such little time left, take the narrow victory and count their blessings. "But Arsenal are none of those things and they succumbed to Tomas Holes’ headed injury time leveller in a typical kamikaze goalmouth scramble which again highlighted the home side’s defensive frailties. "This was Arsenal’s last chance to save their season, their last hope of a passport into Europe next season and now they face an exit which will be a huge blow to the club on and off the pitch." The Telegraph "As Slavia Prague equalised deep into injury time, to dramatically grasp the advantage in this Europa League quarter-final, Mikel Arteta turned and held his face," Jason Burt wrote for The Telegraph. "The Arsenal manager looked tortured. He looked like a rendition of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” – which was probably what he was doing inside. "Arteta had declared this tie “all or nothing”, the biggest of the season, their last chance at redemption and now it hangs by a thread. Having taken a late lead they could not hold on and they will have to score and probably win in Prague next week. And Slavia – who have knocked out Leicester City and Rangers on this run - have not lost at home all season.
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"Arsenal were just not good enough in either penalty area. And that is some indictment for such an expensively-assembled team who could bring on big-name substitutes including captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe, who scored. "There is a mental fragility at the heart of Arsenal. They are the kings of complacency. How else do you explain working so hard to take a precious 86th minute lead, having struck the goal-frame twice as they wasted chances including a horrible miss by Alexandre Lacazette, only to be unable to hold out for a further eight minutes. "Slavia put them under concerted pressure and they folded. It is also 14 games without a clean sheet. "The tie is far from over but the reaction of Arteta – who marched straight to the dressing room at the final whistle as Slavia celebrated - and the players, with Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares arguing on the pitch, said it all."
Source = MetiNews.Com