Press conference

'This is the level Pepe needs to hit each time'

Having thrown Nicolas Pepe straight back into the fray after his red card at Leeds, Mikel Arteta was delighted with the response he gave.

The Ivorian forward scored a fine opening goal and threatened numerous times during a lively display as we beat Molde to secure our place in the Europa League knockout stages.

Now, Arteta says, he must replicate that form week in, week out.

"I am really pleased. After the disappointment of something negative, you want to see a reaction and I could see from the first minute with his body language that he was ready to act," our manager said.

"I think he had a great performance, he scored one goal and could have scored another one or two. He created some good moments in the game and worked really hard for the team, so I really like it, I am pleased with that.

"We all know what his level, and all the time the question is how often he can get to that level and how he contributes to other aspects of the game.

"Today is the example of the level he needs to hit, and he needs to keep doing it because he is capable of it and you can see that every time he gets in those positions in the final third, he is a real threat and a very difficult player to control because he can go with his feet, he can come inside, he can shoot, he can create crosses and he can go in behind you as well. That is what we can expect from him."

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