Slavia vs. Arsenal: Waiting for a win since 1907

On Thursday the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Quarter-final will decide who will make it to the semis. It will be the 7th encounter between Slavia and Arsenal in 114 years.

The last game between the two teams wearing red and white colour was played last Thursday and ended up in a 1-1 draw. Nicolas Pépé gave Arsenal lead after 86 minutes, but Tomáš Holeš managed to equalise in the 3rd minute of the added time.

Arsenal 1-1 Slavia, 8 April 2021
UEFA Europa League Quarter-final, 1st leg
Goals: Pépé 86’ – Holeš 90’

Slavia hosted Arsenal for the first time in 1907. On 12 and 16 May Slavia lost 5-7 and 2-4 in two friendly games in Prague. The third game was played in Prague again on 15 May 1926. The Gunners won 5-1 and according to the then headlines Arsenal made a bid to buy legendary Slavia and Czechoslovak goalkeeper František Plánička. Plánička, however, stayed in Prague and later won 7 Czechoslovak titles with Slavia and as a captain led the Czechoslovak national team to silver medals on 1934 World Cup in Italy.


Slavia and Arsenal in the first mutual game in May 1907.


František Plánička making a save in the game against Arsenal in May 1926.

The Red-whites had to wait for another encounter with Arsenal for 81 years. In 2007/08 the draw brought the two teams together in the UEFA Champions League Group stage. In the away game in London Slavia were quickly 0-2 down after a strike by Fàbregas and an unlucky own goal by David Hubáček, and Arsenal eventually won the game 7-0.

Arsenal 7-0 Slavia, 23 October 2007
Goals: Fàbregas 5’ and 58’, Hubáček 24’ (OG), Walcott 41’ and 55’, Hleb 51’, Bendtner 89’
Slavia: Vaniak; Krajčík, Suchý, Hubáček, Pudil; Šenkeřík, Švec, Kalivoda (46. Jablonský), Tavares (63. Belaid), Ivana (56. Volešák); Vlček
Arsenal: Almunia; Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy – Eboué, Fàbregas, Flamini (63. Gilberto da Silva), Hleb (63. Rosický); Adebayor (63. Bendtner), Walcott


Tomáš Jablonský and Mickael Tavares in the away game at Arsenal in October 2007.

However, Slavia got over the loss from Emirates and managed to hold Arsenal to a goalless draw at home. The point helped Slavia to finish third in the Group H behind Arsenal and Sevilla and qualify for the UEFA Cup knockout stage. In the Round of 32 the Red-whites travelled to London again to face Tottenham, but were eliminated after a 1-2 home defeat and 1-1 away draw.

Slavia 0-0 Arsenal, 7 November 2007
Slavia: Vorel; Dřížďal, Suchý, Brabec, Hubáček; Krajčík, Švec, Tavares, Pudil (89. Jablonský); Šmicer (64. Kalivoda); Šenkeřík (77. Ivana)
Arsenal: Almunia; Diarra, Song, Gallas, Clichy; Walcott, Gilberto da Silva, Denilson, Diaby; Eduardo (81. Eboué), Bendtner (77. Adebayor)


Michal Švec in the home game against Arsenal in November 2007.

The second leg of the UEFA Europa League Quarter-final will be played At Eden on Thursday, 15 April 2021, from 9 pm CET.


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