Nicolas Pepe scored the winner and put in one of the best performances of his loan so far against 1. FC Slovacko on Thursday night.

Nice's French midfielder Sofiane Diop (L) and Nice's Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (R) celebrate scoring the 0:1 goal during the European Conference League 1st Round Group D football match 1. FC Slovacko vs OGG Nice in Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by RADEK MICA/AFP via Getty Images)
Nice’s French midfielder Sofiane Diop (L) and Nice’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (R) celebrate scoring the 0:1 goal during the European Conference League 1st Round Group D football match 1. FC Slovacko vs OGG Nice in Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by RADEK MICA/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicolas Pepe has made a somewhat subdued start to his loan spell with OGC Nice so far, dropping out of the starting lineup as they faced PSG at the weekend. But the winger responded to that setback impressively in midweek.

Back in the starting lineup in Nice’s Europa Conference League game against Slovacko, Pepe was his side’s primary attacking threat throughout the match.

With under nine minutes on the clock, Pepe almost gave his side the lead as he hit the post with a free header.

The Arsenal loanee then did score the opening goal early in the second half, playing a one-two to come in from the right-hand side before whipping an effort at goal.

Though it was straight down the goalkeeper’s throat, the power of the shot saw the keeper spill it into the net for 1-0.

Inspired by that goal, Pepe took another shot from a similar position a couple of minutes later, which cannoned out off the crossbar with the keeper seemingly beaten.

You can watch all the highlights here, including Pepe’s header (0:18), goal (0:57), and shot off the bar (1:28).

Nice's new recruit Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe is presented during the UEFA Conference League play-off second leg football match between OGC Nice and Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice on August 25, 2022. - Nice's new recrue Pepe (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Nice’s new recruit Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe is presented during the UEFA Conference League play-off second leg football match between OGC Nice and Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice on August 25, 2022. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Pepe came off after 84 minutes, and it remains to be seen whether that leaves him fresh enough to face Troyes on Sunday. But his strong performance on Thursday and his second goal for Nice will hopefully have lifted his confidence a bit.

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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.