Arsenal’s game against Portuguese team Vitoria was quite grueling in the first half as they had scored only once. Gabriel Martinelli had scored in the 32nd minute equalizing Marcus Edward’s starter.
Just four minutes later, Vitoria’s side netted another goal by Bruno Duarte giving them a lead ahead of the Gunners.
Arsenal’s ball possession improved in the second half but there was no goal until Unai Emery decided to substitute Lacazette with Nicolas Pepe in the 74th minute.
Nicolas Pepe was the best decision that Arsenal boss had made because in the 80th minute he scored a sensational free-kick that equalized for Emery’s side. The second free-kick came in the 92nd minute giving Arsenal victory against Vitoria.
Pepe’s free-kick double not only earned them victory, it also equaled a 6 year record. The Ivorian winger became the first player to score two free-kicks in the Europa League emulating Luis Suarez’s free-kick double in 2013.
Unai Emery was happy with the 24 year-old and described the free-kicks as perfect. He commented that Pepe had practiced on his free-kick routine and was glad that it paid off. The manager also praised the player for adapting well in the team.
Emery also pointed out that the Vitoria side had played exceptionally well owing to their good players and well-structured team. He revealed that he wanted his team to top the Europa League and his players were doing exactly that.
Lastly, Pepe has proved himself a match winner as well as a game saver when the going gets tough for the Gunners.