Arsenal are into the Europa League semifinals after a runaway 4-0 win over Slavia Prague in their quarterfinal second leg on Thursday night saw them advance 5-1 on aggregate.
The Gunners were without the injured Martin Odegaard and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who revealed shortly before the game that he had been in hospital recovering from a case of Malaria contracted while on international duty with Gabon.
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Emile Smith-Rowe looked to have put Arsenal in front just before the 15-minute mark, but his tap in from a Bukayo Saka shot that came back off the post was disallowed after a VAR check.
Soon after, Arsenal would go two up in the span of minutes after Nicolas Pepe smashed his shot into the roof of the net and Alexandre Lacazette converted from the penalty spot following a foul on Saka by Slavia’s Jakub Hromada in the area.
Saka then got on the scoresheet shortly after Lacazette’s penalty when he picked up the ball on the right flank, cut inside to his left foot and beat Slavia keeper Ondrej Kolar at his near post with a clever finish.
The opening 45 minutes ended with Arsenal up 3-0, marking the first time Mikel Arteta’s side had scored three goals in the first half since a Premier League match against Leeds on Feb. 14.
The second half produced far less fireworks with Lacazette netting his second of the night from a quick-hitting Arsenal counter in the 77th minute to put his side up 4-0 with the tie already done and dusted.
The result means Arsenal will face Villarreal, who beat Dinamo Zagreb in their quarterfinal, on April 29 in a match that sees the Gunners go head-to-head with former manager Unai Emery.