Steven Gerrard says he ‘LOVED’ how Arsenal STARED DOWN Slavia Prague – and racist abuse victim Glen Kamara admired it too – after Alexandre Lacazette led show of defiance against the team who knocked out Rangers after player’s ‘f***ing monkey’ insult
- Arsenal beat Slavia Prague 4-0 to move into the Europa League semi-finals
- The Gunners took the knee in front of Slavia’s standing players on Thursday night
- Rangers’ Glen Kamara accused Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela of racially abusing him
- Kudela was banned by UEFA for ten matches earlier this week after an inquest
- Rangers boss Steven Gerrard admitted he ‘loved’ Arsenal’s stance and display
Steven Gerrard has admitted he ‘loved’ watching Arsenal against Slavia Prague on Thursday as the Gunners stared down their Czech opponents while taking the knee before beating them 4-0.
The Gunners thrashed Slavia to win 5-1 on aggregate and advance into the Europa League semi-finals, after the Czech Republic giants had beaten Gerrard’s Rangers in the previous round.
The last-16 second-leg in Glasgow was marred by Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara accusing Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela a ‘f***ing monkey’ in the closing moments of the game.
Steven Gerrard admitted he loved watching Arsenal thrash Slavia Prague after kneeling in front of the Czech players on Thursday
Arsenal opted to take the knee in front of Slavia’s players, who stood in solidarity on Thursday
A day after Kudela was banned for 10 UEFA matches for racist abuse, Arsenal took the knee on Thursday night in front of Slavia’s players – who chose to stand arm in arm with each other during the gesture.
Arsenal’s captain for the night Alex Lacazette kneeled right in front of the Slavia players and went on to score twice alongside goals from Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka, with Gerrard praising Kamara’s former team for their display that evening.
Gerrard told a press conference on Friday: ‘I loved everything about the game. I loved Arsenal’s performance, I loved the way they went about it. I admired how they approached before the game, during the game and after the game.
Arsenal captain Alex Lacazette stared right at the Slavia players during the pre-match gesture
Gerrard’s Rangers took on Slavia earlier in the round in a tie that was marred by Glen Kamara (left) accusing Slavia’s Ondrej Kudela (right) of racism
‘I’m sure Glen did as well but I was really proud watching Arsenal’s performance last night. Everything about it.
‘The way they prepared for the game, the way the manager spoke, the way the players behaved before, during and after – and then to back it up with that level of performance.
‘I sat there and really enjoyed that game, it was a sensational performance.’
Kamara came through the youth ranks at Arsenal before leaving the Gunners in 2017 to join Dundee in Scotland, before making the switch to Rangers in January 2019.
Lacazette went on to score twice as the Gunners won 4-0 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate
Arsenal fans also rejoiced in the pre-match gesture, with fans claiming they had ‘goosebumps’ and that the game was already won when Lacazette stared down the Slavia players.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the powerful gesture and thanked UEFA and the match referee, who also took the knee with the Arsenal players, for allowing it to happen.
Arteta said on Thursday night:: ‘I was supportive and thankful the referee and UEFA as well they have been supportive so it was a good gesture.
Fans were left with ‘goosebumps’ by Laczette’s gesture as he spearheaded Arsenal’s squad
‘The captain came to me and asked me to do that and I supported them like the club did. I really did like that from the players.
‘We spoke with the club to make sure we could follow the rules of UEFA and we could do it the right way.’
The response by Slavia Prague to the Kamara incident and Kudela’s suspension was met with some controversy after the Czech Republic president accused UEFA of discriminating against non-black people.
In a letter addressed to UEFA’s disciplinary board, the office of Milos Zeman defended Kudela, who has firmly denied the allegations levelled against him, saying the accusations against the centre back are ‘unproven’.
Zeman’s office sent a 542-word letter to European football’s governing body stating that they have given an ‘unprecedented punishment for a player who did not harm anyone and only verbally’ without a ‘single piece of evidence’.
Kudela insists he told Karama he was a ‘f***ing guy’ in the Europa League tie at Rangers.