Mikel Arteta praised Nicolas Pepe after the forward came off the bench to score the goal that was the difference between Arsenal and Sheffield United at the Emirates on Sunday.
In what was a drab game overall, Bukayo Saka scored Arsenal’s opener just 190 seconds before Nicolas Pepe doubled Arsenal’s lead.
“I’m really happy for him and the contribution [he made today],” Arteta told reporters after the game.
“I demand on matchday to be completely focused and determined to make an impact and that’s what he’s done.”
The goal was Pepe’s first of the season. Then again, he’s only played 94 minutes in the league so far out of a possible 360.
Since Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge of #Arsenal on Boxing Day 2019, there have been 9 goals scored in the Premier League following a passing sequence of 19+ passes – Arsenal have been responsible for four of them, including Pepe’s goal today against Sheffield United. pic.twitter.com/ZsFqBcEuDS
— Harvey Downes (@HarveyDownes92) October 4, 2020
According to Opta, the 19 passes that resulted in Pepe’s goal is the highest so far this season in the league, although we are only four games in.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 4, 2020
We now head into an international break which will see Pepe jet off with the Ivory Coast for their games against Belgium and Japan.
Before that, however, we have the small matter of the transfer window closing on Monday night at 11pm.