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Mikel Arteta heaps praises on Nicolas Pepe after Crystal palace win

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Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was so impressed with his forward Nicolas Pepe who bagged a brace in the 3-1  win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

The Gunners had the most share of the possession against the Eagles, and they opened the scoring in the 35th minute with Pepe scoring with a right-footed shot in the box, a clinical finish.

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Crystal palace came back into the game after the first half with Christian Benteke equaliser following the hour mark after being handed a free header from a free-kick.

Gabriel Martinelli came off the bench, and scored a vital goal in the 91st minute after a cleverly disguised cross from Martin Odegaard.

Right before the final whistle, Pepe made it 3-1 for the north Londoners with a superb solo effort cutting inside from the right wing.

Speaking after the game, Arteta was full of praise for Pepe, and said that the Ivorian has come a long way over the course of the season.

He told Arsenal.com: “It’s my feeling and it’s everybody’s feeling in the coaching staff, and his own feeling that he’s come a long way this season.”

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“He hasn’t had the consistency sometimes in the gametime, but I think in Europe he’s been terrific and in the Premier League he’s started to show much more what he’s like, and he’s very hungry.”

“I think he’s changed a lot in his mentality and his willingness to do much more.”

Pepe has registered 14 goals and five assists from 46 games this term. In league terms, he has contributed eight goals and one assist from 28 premier league appearances

The stats are far from impressive for a player, who cost over £70 million, but there have been positive signs over his performances this year.

 

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