By 90Min
October 25, 2019

Arsenal boss Unai Emery was full of praise for record-signing Nicolas Pepe after the Ivorian scored a pair of ''perfect'' free-kicks in the narrow 3-2 win over Vitoria in the Europa League.

The Gunners were trailing 2-1 when Pepe came on as a substitute in the 74th minute to try and spark what was, up until then, an underwhelming Arsenal performance. 

After netting the equaliser with 10 minutes to play, Pepe went on to score the winner in stoppage-time after Matteo Guendouzi was fouled in a central position just outside the area.


His impact drew significant praise from Emery after the game, with the Spaniard also revealing after the game that the former Lille star had been working on set pieces in training.

"Every new player usually needs time for adaptation," he said in his post-match press conference, as quoted by Sky Sports"Pepe is a very good player and we believe in him.

"We are very happy for him and us because he has two goals from two set-pieces which were perfect. He trying last week with set-piece shooting on the training ground and I was watching his shooting.

"He is improving and tonight he has two goals, which are important for us and for him. He's continuing the adaptation in his process and as soon as he can adapt, that's better for us. The most important thing is the three points and that some individual players can improve, that they can take confidence for us and for them.

Pepe has endured a tricky start to life in north London, having been levelled with a wave of criticism for his lack of end product in the final third. Before the game, Pepe had registered just four goal contributions in 11 games - and he is still yet to score from open play for the Gunners.

However, his contribution in a game where Arsenal were staring defeat in the face will surely give the winger confidence going forward, and he'll be looking to build on his midweek showing on Sunday as the Gunners host Crystal Palace.

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