Around the 75th minute of Arsenal’s Premier League encounter against Southampton, Nicolas Pepe showcased some trademark magical dribbling to create something out of nothing for the Gunners.
Just moments after Pepe was called to be substituted by Mikel Arteta, only for the switch to be changed when Emile Smith Rowe went down injured in a moment that unfairly earned the Ivorian a yellow card, Pepe showcased his heralded dribbling ability.
Alexandre Lacazette knocked the ball to Pepe, who was on the left side of the pitch, Arsenal’s club-record signing controlled it before immediately nutmegging Yan Valery.
Pepe then burst into action, evading Stuart Armstrong – the man he helped gift a goal to in a nightmare start for the Gunners – before also surging past England international James Ward-Prowse.
As Pepe crossed the halfway line he was met by Jan Bednarek, the 25-year-old made things look effortless as he nutmegged the centre-back.
Pepe almost loss the ball after being crowded out by a trailing Ward-Prowse but somehow recovered it and was ultimately fouled by Bednarek – he’d already made it to the final third by then.
— Sam (@afcsammm) January 26, 2021
Pictures from BT Sport.
Pepe certainly played an influence on just his fifth Premier League start of his 13 top-flight appearances this season.
The winger’s early mistake can be forgiven as he made up for it himself just minutes later with a composed equaliser in the 7th minute.
Perhaps the encouraging display will convince Arteta to hand the ace more opportunities in the most important competition for the Gunners – rather than the cups that he’s been left to largely feature in.