📝 Arsenal 3-2 Vitória: Pépé steals the show with late brace to lift the Gunners over stubborn Guimarães
📝 Arsenal 3-2 Vitória: Pépé steals the show with late brace to lift the Gunners over stubborn Guimarães
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📝 Arsenal 3-2 Vitória: Pépé steals the show with late brace to lift the Gunners over stubborn Guimarães

Nicolas Pepe came off the bench to score a late brace and give Arsenal a 3-2 win over a stubborn Vitoria side in a Europa League clash at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night. 

The Ivory Coast international found the back of the net with two wonderfully taken freekicks after the visitors had taken a 2-1 lead going into the break. 

The visitors took the lead through Marcus Edwards, but Arsenal pulled through Gabriel Martinelli before Bruno Duarte restored their lead. 

Vitória shocks Arsenal with quick start 

The home side was served a warning shot as early as the fourth minute, as Damian Martinez denied Andre Almeida with a great save, having made himself some space inside the box and unleashed a quick low drive to the bottom right corner.

They took the lead five minutes later after Victor Garcia's run on the wing before finding Edwards with a nice pass inside the box, which he finished with a low shot into the middle of the goal.

Arsenal then went all out in search of an equaliser, but the visitors stood firm as they repelled their attacks one after the other. 

They had to wait until the 32nd minute to find a way through after Kieran Tierney lobbed in a beautiful cross which was met by Martinelli and into the left side of the goal beyond the goalkeeper to make it 1-1.

Five minutes later, Vitoria restored their lead as Davidson unleased a long-range shot that crashed against the right post, before Duarte pounced on the rebound to rifle in an unstoppable shot for a 2-1 lead. 

The visitors were on the attack again in the 41st minute, with Davidson getting to the ball on the edge of the box and unleashing a shot on goal, but the ball curled just wide of the right post.

Five minutes after the restart, the visitors went on the attack once again but Damian Martinez pulled off a great save to deny Denis Will Poha, who made himself some space inside the box and unleashed a quick low drive to the bottom left corner.

Arsenal could have pulled level four minutes later, but a loose ball rebounded off a defender into the path of Emile Smith Rowe, whose strike from inside the box went a whisker wide of the right post.

The match became an open contest as both sides launched attack after attack, but none could find its way into the back of the net. 

🇨🇮 Nicolas Pépé show 

On the 80th minute, however, substitute Nicolas Pepe scored the equaliser with a well-taken freekick, which found its way into the left corner.

Arsenal created more chances after the second goal, with Martinelli and Rob Holding coming close to grabbing a third. 

With the match seemingly ending in a draw, Pepe once again struck a sweet freekick into the top right corner in the 93rd minute, to give Arsenal all the points. 

The win maintained their 100 per cent record in the tournament, having won their opening two matches. 

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