Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe won the Man of the Match award after scoring for the Ivory Coast on Sunday in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Nicolas Pepe with Ivory Coast (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Nicolas Pepe with Ivory Coast (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe had to wait for a start at the Africa Cup of Nations, after he was only given a substitute appearance in the opening game against Equatorial Guinea.

Pepe made the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Sierra Leone, and he scored a lovely goal to give his team a 2-1 lead.

https://twitter.com/SkyFootball/status/1482766487655964675

Even though Sierra Leone pulled it back with a late equaliser, Pepe still picked up the Man of the Match award at the end.

The draw kept Ivory Coast top of their group with just one game remaining, and in a very strong position to reach the knockout stages.

Even if they lose to Algeria in their final game, and even if Equatorial Guinea or Sierra Leona win and drop them down to third, the Ivory Coast will still have a very strong chance to qualify for the knockouts as a best third-placed finisher.

LONDON, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup Round-of-16 match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on October 26, 2021. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup Round-of-16 match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on October 26, 2021. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

So it looks like Pepe will be spending a bit longer away from Arsenal, but hopefully, he’ll return in good form after a strong run at the international tournament.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.