Slavia Prague boss Jindrich Tripisovsky has claimed that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had three ‘very hungry’ players at his disposal at the Emirates last night.
The Czech giants managed to score just a minute before the final whistle to salvage a draw. That goal gives them an advantage going into the second leg next week, but Tripisovsky is wary of the threat Arsenal pose.
The Slavia boss delivered his verdict after the game last night. He claimed that Arsenal’s substitutes – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli – all looked ‘very hungry’ before they came on. That hunger gave Arsenal the opening goal.
He told Slavia’s official website: “If I knew before the match that we would let Arsenal run into so few chances, I would be happy. Their chances were always only by standards or individual error. We had to play a little better, but the pitch was very fast.
“Arsenal has great offensive players. We saw a substitution, players like Aubameyang, Martinelli and Pepe, who were very hungry, went into the game. It was visible even before the goal in the duel with Zimic, who ran at about thirty-five, and he still missed the two key two steps for Pepe.”
Hungry Pepe gave Arsenal the lead
Pepe and Aubameyang combined to give Arsenal the lead. The Ivorian drove past Slavia’s defender without any trouble and he chipped the keeper to finish what was truly a brilliant goal.
Sadly, Arsenal capitulated at the other end. We overplayed when we should’ve cleared the ball, and that gave Slavia a golden opportunity to equalise. Bernd Leno saved us but the visitors managed to get one past the Arsenal goalkeeper from the subsequent corner.
That puts Arsenal in a very difficult position now. We are more than good enough to go to Prague and get a result, but we are our own worst enemy, and if we shoot ourselves in the foot again, we will crash out of the competition.
Slavia’s boss saw a hunger in three Arsenal players who barely played for 15 minutes. Hopefully, the rest of our players can build up an appetite for what will be our most important game of the season yet next week.