Czech defender Tomas Holes stole in front of Cedric Soares to head in at the back post deep into second-half stoppage time at the Emirates Stadium, just minutes after Nicolas Pepe had come off the bench to put the Gunners ahead following Mikel Arteta’s wise if somewhat delayed decision to send for the cavalry.
The Ivorian winger was released by fellow substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - surprisingly dropped as one of six changes made to the side beaten 3-0 by Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday - and produced a lovely dinked finish over goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar to break the deadlock with just four minutes remaining.
It was Pepe’s fourth Europa League goal of the season and had looked to put Arsenal in control of the tie, but now there is much work to do in the second leg in Prague next week.
Alexandre Lacazette and Willian also hit the woodwork on a frustrating evening for the hosts, while Bukayo Saka missed a terrific chance during a low-key first half.
Lukas Provod’s fierce strike was pushed onto the post shortly before Holes’ dramatic equaliser, while Petr Sevcik wasted a great opportunity for Slavia as the game became far more open beyond the hour mark.
More to follow