Slavia Prague chairman Jaroslav Tvrdik has heaped praise on Arsenal duo Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno after their gesture before last week’s Europa League quarter-final tie at the Emirates.
The Gunners got to the current round by knocking Olympiacos out of the competition. Slavia, on the other hand, had to get past Scottish champions Rangers, and that was one eventful clash.
Rangers had a slight advantage going into the second leg after their 1-1 draw at Prague. Many expected home advantage to see them through, but Slavia scored two past the Gers, with their second goal coming 13 minutes after Kemar Roofe saw red.
The Rangers star was sent off for a high tackle on Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar. The 26-year-old was badly injured and was a huge doubt for the game against Arsenal at the Emirates last week.
Kolar was given the green light to feature by the medical staff but he was forced to wear protective headgear. We all know how dangerous head injuries are, and even with his padded helmet, the Slavia goalkeeper would’ve had some concerns.
Slavia president: Bellerin and Leno checked on Kolar before the game
Tvrdik revealed on Twitter yesterday that Arsenal pair Bellerin and Leno both approached Kolar before the game. He claims that the duo assured Kolar that he had no reason to be worried about getting hurt again, which really is a classy move.
Slavia’s president wrote: “Today, Ondrej Kolar told me a situation from which I am incredibly excited [about].
“I get the virus back in English football. In fair play, the captain [Bellerin] and goalkeeper [Leno] of Arsenal came to him before the match and assured him that he did not have to be scared after his injury.
“This is the real value of football.”
That was really classy from Bellerin and Leno. Kolar played the full 90 minutes and helped his side get a draw at the Emirates last week. Slavia have the upper hand with an away goal, but if we turn up on Thursday, we should be able to get past the Czech champions.