Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 3-2 Vitoria

Pepe

Vitoria -

Emirates Stadium
Europa League
Europa League
  Arsenal
      
                  Martinelli (32)
                   Pepe (80
                   90 + 2)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Martinelli (32)
Pepe (80
90 + 2)
3 2
  Vitoria
      
              Edwards (9)
               Duarte  (37)
          
   crest
Vitoria
Edwards (9) Duarte (37)

WHAT HAPPENED

Nicolas Pepe scored two stunning free-kicks off the bench to help us secure a dramatic 3-2 win over Vitoria in the Europa League. 

It was the visitors who started much the brighter of the two teams, and their early pressure paid off when former Tottenham youngster Marcus Edwards put them in front.

Having performed so well in the Europa League so far this season, it was a shock to the system to fall behind but the Portuguese side continued to threaten.

We soon started to come to life though with the Alex Lacazette dragging a shot wide, and Emile Smith Rowe seeing a fierce drive deflected over the bar.

This was more like it, and we got our reward when Kieran Tierney curled in an inviting cross from the left, for Gabriel Martinelli to head in. It was exactly the same combination that saw us open the scoring against Standard Liege, offering encouraging signs for the future.

Suddenly we looked up for the fight and ready to take control, with Smith Rowe going close again, but in an instant we found ourselves behind again when Vitoria burst forward and Bruno Duarte blasted in.

Matteo Guendouzi and Dani Ceballos came on at the interval as Unai Emery sought to shift the momentum back in our favour, but it was the visitors who continued to threaten with Emi Martinez twice called into action in quick succession.

Smith Rowe soon sliced a shot wide when well positioned in the box, but in truth we were struggling to create clear-cut chances as the game reached its final quarter.

Pepe came on as Emery made his last roll of the dice, and within minutes he had repaid him with a stunning equaliser, curling a free kick home from 25 yards out.

But Vitoria sprang straight back at us as Davidson fired inches wide, before Martinelli was denied by a superb save by Miguel Silva – and the goalkeeper was again on hand to deny Rob Holding moments later.

It looked as through we'd be leaving Emirates Stadium with a share of the spoils, but up stepped Pepe once more to fizz an incredible free-kick into the top left corner

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded in our play-by-play commentary.

WHAT IT MEANS

Europa table

WHAT’S NEXT

We welcome Crystal Palace to Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, hoping to get back on track in the Premier League.
We’re currently fifth in the table, two points behind Chelsea and Leicester City, while the Eagles are just behind us in sixth spot.

 

 

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