Arsenal

Unsung Hero: Nicolas Pepe makes it two good performances in a row for Arsenal

Unsung Hero: Nicolas Pepe makes it two good performances in a row for Arsenal

Arsenal blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace as they dropped more points in the race for a top-four finish (via BBC). However, one player proved the unsung hero with his vital yet anonymous contribution.

Arsenal’s centre-back pairing of Sokratis and David Luiz got the Gunners off to a flyer when they scored from corners in the opening nine minutes.

But, Unai Emery’s side were pulled back by the Eagles thanks to a Luka Miliviojevic penalty and a header from Jordan Ayew either side of half-time.

Sokratis performed like a man possessed in the middle of defence for the north London giants, making the most clearances with the nearest Arsenal man almost four away from the Greek defender (via WhoScored).

In the middle of the park, Matteo Guendouzi grew from strength to strength, providing the most successful passes of any midfield or attacking player for Emery’s side.

However, it was Nicolas Pepe, who seems to have found some form for the Gunners at the moment.

The 11-cap Ivory Coast international was the only attacking threat the side carried throughout the majority of the game, creating both goalscoring chances from corners from the right-hand side.

However, Pepe was also in good form on the ball, attempting four of Arsenal’s seven dribbles as he tried to push the team forward at every opportunity,

Football.london agreed with this analysis as they awarded the 24-year-old a seven out of 10, commenting on his crucial set-piece deliveries.

They said: “Carried on where he left off on Thursday night with dreamy hitting of dead balls, his first two corners resulting in goals for Arsenal.”

“As the game wore on his influence diminished but he certainly did his part in getting the Gunners’ into a winning position.” (Source: football.london)

The winger’s performance on Sunday follows on from his two goals in the Europa League on Thursday, helping prove his worth after previously being slammed by pundits such as Roy Keane earlier in the campaign. Indeed, over the past few games, his ability from set-pieces looks like adding a new dimension to the Gunners’ attack.

Should Xhaka ever play for Arsenal again?

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Arsenal fans, what did you make of Pepe’s performance? Let us know your thoughts!

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