Slavia Prague 0-4 Arsenal: Gunners' best 45 minutes so far this season

Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka

A Gunners supporter has claimed that Arsenal's first half display against Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday was the side's best performance of the season so far, but admitted that Mikel Arteta's men are still struggling to find consistency.

What did he say?

The Gunners burst out of the blocks in the second leg, with the tie delicately poised at 1-1 from the first match at the Emirates. First half goals from Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka put the result beyond doubt, before Lacazette scored again after the break.

Reacting to the match on The Football Terrace afterwards, the fan hailed Arsenal's first half showing, but highlighted that being unable to maintain this level of performance has been an issue this year.

He said: "I think the performances come and go. The problem is: they can’t consistently keep up with it, or else we would be a lot better. Based off the last couple of weeks, you’ve seen it in spurts, but that first 45 minutes was probably the best 45 minutes we’ve had this whole season.

"I don’t think we’ve had a better 45 minutes when it comes to finishing, chances created, the defensive partnership didn’t get worried at all, Leno didn’t get worried at all. The whole team was just on point."

Was this Arsenal's best 45 minutes of the season?

There is a very good case that it was. 

Arsenal have scored just 43 goals in their 31 league games this term - Everton are the only top half side who have netted on fewer occasions. This highlights how goals have been hard to come by at the club.

The team look set to miss out on qualifying for Europe through their league position, meaning that Thursday's match was arguably Arsenal's biggest game of the season to date.

With the pressure on, the players stepped up and were ruthless in front of goal. Arteta's side only had five shots in the first half, but were incredibly precise with their finishing, scoring three times and hitting the post through Saka.

Slavia have proved that they are no pushovers, having previously knocked out Leicester and Rangers, but Arsenal swatted them aside with ease to set up a semi-final meeting with Villarreal.

Is consistency still an issue?

It certainly is.

In fairness to Arsenal, they were also convincing in their last league match when they cruised past Sheffield United 3-0. 

Yet that result followed a deflating draw against Slavia in the first leg at home, and a dismal 3-0 loss to Liverpool in the first game after the international break.

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Francis Coquelin

Francis Coquelin

How can the side play so poorly against Liverpool and then put in such an outstanding performance in the Europa League less than two weeks later?

Arteta must try to figure out the answer to that one, and do all he can to eradicate the disappointing displays, because if Arsenal keep lurching from the sublime to the ridiculous they will struggle to climb the table next year.

You can check out The Football Terrace's reaction to this week's Europa League clashes right here.

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