LONDON: Pepe found the net with a deft chip to open the scoring only for Holes to level late on.
Nicolas Pepe had come off the bench to seemingly win the game for the Gunners with his strike four minutes from time. However, the hosts could not hold on to their advantage as Tomas Holes headed in an equaliser to earn Slavia a 1-1 draw.
The first leg at the Emirates Stadium looked set to end in a goalless stalemate as Arsenal passed up a number of fine chances.
But club-record signing Pepe found the net with a deft chip to open the scoring only for Holes to level late on.
Mikel Arteta opted to drop captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the bench for the game, which saw both Willian and Alexandre Lacazette hit the woodwork.
Slavia, who have seen off Leicester and Rangers in previous rounds, had a couple of good opportunities of their own and ultimately scored what could prove to be a crucial away goal as Holes arrived at the back post to leave Arteta crestfallen on the touchline.
Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka all returned to the Gunners side from Saturday’s 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool – as Aubameyang surprisingly made way.
The skipper later came on to miss a good chance, with Saka and Lacazette also passing up decent opportunities to break the deadlock before Pepe latched on to an Aubameyang pass to score.
Slavia reacted well and levelled in stoppage time as Leno turned a Lukas Provod shot onto the post and behind.
Provod took the resulting corner, which flicked off the unsuspecting Pepe and allowed Holes to stoop and head in at the back post with the last meaningful touch of the night.