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Nicolas Pepe finally arrived at Arsenal tonight, with the Gunners' club-record £72 million signing scoring two wonderful free-kicks to complete a remarkable turnaround at the Emirates.
Arsenal were 2-1 down at home to Portuguese outfit Vitoria in the Europa League when the Ivorian winger was sent on by Unai Emery in what proved to be an inspired substitution.
The former Lille man scored his first goal in open play for Arsenal when his curling set-piece strike levelled matters ten minutes from time, before Pepe bagged an even better free-kick with his cultured left-foot, this time bending one into the top bins in the last kick of the game.
Pepe had been struggling since making his big-money move at Arsenal, notably missing a sitter in the defeat to Sheffield United on Monday, but he stepped up tonight and it could well be a watershed moment for him.
Anyone who was talking shit about Nicolas Pepe has just been well and truly silenced.- Transfer News (@TransferChecker) October 24, 2019
Two free kicks. Two completely different angles. Two completely different techniques required. Two absolutely world class goals.
The former Lille man was prolific in France last season, scoring 22 goals in 38 Ligue One games, and Arsenal supporters will be hoping their No.19 can seriously kick on after his dead-ball double tonight.
The last-gasp victory sees Arsenal make it three wins from the first three Europa League group games, with last year's finalists now more or less nailed on to qualify for the knockout stage.
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