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Albert’s pop at Pepe

Arsenal assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg delivered a ticking off to Nicolas Pepe following the 2-1 win against Leeds after failing to capitalise on an open goal.

The Ivorian winger came on as a second half substitute for Bukayo Saka in Sunday’s victory at the Emirates, but failed to make an impact.

Though he could have relieved the pressure in North London by scoring late on after Leeds goalkeeper Islan Meslier went up for a corner.

Arsenal defended the set piece, with Pepe picking up the loose ball and darting to the half-way line where it looked as though he would score into an empty net.

But he bizarrely decided to cut in on his stronger left foot instead of taking a shot with his right or even running with the ball for longer.

That allowed Daniel James to make an all-important tackle to stop the Gunners counter, with Leeds then able to keep the pressure on in their quest for an equaliser.

Thankfully for Pepe, the Whites couldn’t get back on level terms, though that didn’t stop Stuivenberg from giving the ex-Lille man an animated rundown on the pitch.

Mikel Arteta played down the exchange between the pair in his post-match press conference, though he did state he was equally as confused by the forward’s decision making.

He said: “When you see that he’s got an empty net in front of him and he’s taking a touch backwards, we cannot really understand.

“But you have to have the perception of the player in that moment, they are the ones that make the decision.

“And fortunately we didn’t need that goal.”



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