Europa League - Group F
Arsenal3Vitória Guimarães2

Arsenal 3-2 Vitoria Guimaraes: Nicolas Pepe rescues Gunners in Europe

Nicolas Pepe free-kick
Nicolas Pepe has scored three goals in 12 appearances since joining Arsenal for a record fee in the summer

Substitute Nicolas Pepe rescued Arsenal with two sublime free-kicks in the last 10 minutes of their Europa League group game against Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were losing 2-1 when Pepe came on in the 75th minute and he scored five minutes later with a curling effort from 25 yards.

He repeated the feat in stoppage time as Arsenal avoided their second straight defeat and retained their place at the top of Group F.

Former Tottenham youngster Marcus Edwards had earlier cut inside and fired into the bottom corner to give Vitoria a shock lead, before Arsenal's Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli nodded in his fifth goal in just his third start to make it 1-1.

Bruno Duarte restored the visitors' lead on 36 minutes, pouncing on a rebound to send Arsenal into the half-time break a goal behind.

The Gunners, who were poor for large patches of the game, burst into life in the final 10 minutes as Martinelli was denied from close range before Rob Holding's header was well held by the goalkeeper.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery made 10 changes from the side that lost to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Monday but was forced to bring on Matteo Guendouzi and Dani Ceballos at half-time, before Pepe made the difference.

Pepe heroics - the start of something?

Group F table

There was huge excitement this summer when Arsenal signed Ivory Coast winger Pepe from Lille for a club record fee of £72m.

He showed glimpses of brilliance against Liverpool on his first Premier League start in August and picked up an assist in the following game against Tottenham.

But the winger has been largely underwhelming and needed to make an impression from the bench in this European tie.

And that is exactly what he did, curling both set-pieces past a helpless Miguel Silva to give Arsenal another three points in the group, as they maintained their 100% record in the competition this season.

Late goals ease pressure on Emery

Banner at the Emirates
Arsenal fans remain frustrated at a lack of game time for midfielder Mesut Ozil

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown said on BT Sport at half-time "pressure is building" on manager Emery.

Fans were booing as the players walked off at the break trailing 2-1 and banners displaying the words "Emery out" and "Unai, stop freezing Ozil out" were seen in the stands.

German midfielder Mesut Ozil was not included in the squad and has made just two appearances this season.

The defeat to Sheffield United on Monday looked set to be repeated even after Emery had ruthlessly pulled off youngsters Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock at half-time but Pepe had other ideas.

And despite discontent, Arsenal remain fifth in the Premier League table and unbeaten in all three matches in Europe this season.

'Pepe can gain confidence' - Emery

Arsenal manger Unai Emery to BT Sport: "Our aim in this competition is to top the group. Each match is a chance to use different players and grow experience and little by little get better. We didn't play like we wanted but we showed good spirit. It's a good victory. Some players need experience and playing under pressure at this level.

"It's important for Pepe. He can gain confidence from tonight. When he scores it's good for him and the team. He's getting better, playing minutes, playing matches and scoring goals like tonight and he helped us tonight to win this match."

Man of the match - Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal)

Nicolas Pepe
His two goals changed the game when he came on and helped maintain Arsenal's 100% record in the Europa League this season

Martinelli continues to shine - the best of the stats

  • Arsenal have won seven straight home games in European competition (excluding qualifiers) for the first time since February 2002 (a run of seven in the Champions League).
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last six home meetings with Portuguese opponents (W5, D1), scoring 20 goals and conceding just two.
  • Vitoria Guimaraes are winless in their last eight away matches in the Europa League (D2, L6).
  • Edwards' goal on eight minutes was the earliest Arsenal have conceded in European competition since Edinson Cavani netted after 42 seconds for PSG in September 2016.
  • Edwards is the first English player to score for a non-British side against an English team in Europe since Ben Wright for Viking FK against Chelsea in September 2002 in the Uefa Cup.
  • Martinelli has been directly involved in six goals in three starts for Arsenal in all competitions, scoring five and assisting one.
  • Pepe is the first player to score two direct free-kicks in a Europa League game since Luis Suarez for Liverpool vs Zenit St. Petersburg in February 2013.

What's next?

Arsenal are back at Emirates on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League (16:30 GMT).

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Bellerín
  • 20MustafiBooked at 35mins
  • 16Holding
  • 3Tierney
  • 11Torreira
  • 28WillockSubstituted forCeballosat 45'minutes
  • 15Maitland-NilesSubstituted forGuendouziat 45'minutes
  • 32Smith Rowe
  • 35Martinelli
  • 9LacazetteBooked at 74minsSubstituted forPépéat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Leno
  • 8Ceballos
  • 19Pépé
  • 21Chambers
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 77Saka

Vitória Guimarães

  • 56Macedo Silva
  • 15GarcíaBooked at 58mins
  • 3Venâncio
  • 6TapsobaBooked at 84mins
  • 29Hanin
  • 23EdwardsSubstituted forFerreira Coelho Pereiraat 71'minutes
  • 70Ribeiro AlmeidaSubstituted forFigueiredo Rodriguesat 64'minutes
  • 24Agu
  • 28PohaBooked at 60mins
  • 91da Luz PereiraSubstituted forCosta Rochaat 87'minutes
  • 96Duarte da Silva

Substitutes

  • 1Renato de Jesus
  • 2Pereira da Silva
  • 13Bonatini
  • 16Costa Rocha
  • 18Al Musrati
  • 21Ferreira Coelho Pereira
  • 88Figueiredo Rodrigues
Referee:
Serdar Gözübüyük
Attendance:
60,195

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamVitória Guimarães
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home16
Away17
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 3, Vitória Guimarães 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 3, Vitória Guimarães 2.

Goal!

Goal! Arsenal 3, Vitória Guimarães 2. Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top left corner.

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rochinha (Vitória Guimarães).

Attempt missed. Rochinha (Vitória Guimarães) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Pepe with a headed pass.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Víctor García.

Substitution

Substitution, Vitória Guimarães. Rochinha replaces Davidson.

Attempt saved. Rob Holding (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nicolas Pépé with a cross.

Booking

Edmond Tapsoba (Vitória Guimarães) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Edmond Tapsoba (Vitória Guimarães).

Attempt missed. Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Emile Smith Rowe with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Frederico Venâncio.

Attempt saved. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín.

Attempt missed. Davidson (Vitória Guimarães) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Edmond Tapsoba following a fast break.

Goal!

Goal! Arsenal 2, Vitória Guimarães 2. Nicolas Pépé (Arsenal) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Pepe (Vitória Guimarães).

Attempt missed. Florent Hanin (Vitória Guimarães) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt blocked. André Pereira (Vitória Guimarães) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bruno Duarte.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Nicolas Pépé replaces Alexandre Lacazette.

Booking

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

(Vitória Guimarães) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Davidson (Vitória Guimarães).

Attempt blocked. Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Emile Smith Rowe.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Edmond Tapsoba.

Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by André Pereira (Vitória Guimarães).

Substitution

Substitution, Vitória Guimarães. André Pereira replaces Marcus Edwards.

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Davidson (Vitória Guimarães).

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Marcus Edwards.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Agu.

Foul by Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal).

Edmond Tapsoba (Vitória Guimarães) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Vitória Guimarães. Pepe replaces André Almeida.

Foul by Dani Ceballos (Arsenal).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla33007079
2FK Qarabag31116604
3F91 Dudelange3102510-53
4Apoel Nicosia301257-21

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Copenhagen31203215
2Dynamo Kyiv31202115
3Malmö FF31113304
4Lugano301213-21

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel32108267
2Getafe32013216
3FK Krasnodar310237-43
4Trabzonspor301225-31

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSV Eindhoven32107347
2Sporting32015416
3LASK31112204
4Rosenborg300316-50

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic32105237
2CFR Cluj32013306
3Lazio310245-13
4Rennes301224-21

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal330010289
2Frankfurt320134-16
3Standard Liege310236-33
4Vitória Guimarães300326-40

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Young Boys32015326
2Rangers31113304
3FC Porto311134-14
4Feyenoord310223-13

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Espanyol32104137
2Ludogorets32018266
3Ferencvárosi TC311124-24
4CSKA Moscow300318-70

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolfsburg31206425
2KAA Gent31206515
3Oleksandria302135-22
4Saint-Étienne302145-12

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma31206245
2Istanbul Basaksehir311125-34
3RZ Pellets WAC31115234
4B Mgladbach302126-42

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga32105327
2Wolves32013216
3Slovan Bratislava31117614
4Besiktas300337-40

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd32102027
2AZ Alkmaar31208265
3Partizan Belgrade31114404
4FC Astana300319-80
View full Europa League tables

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