Arteta fails to understand Pepe decision making against Leeds

Arteta fails to understand Pepe decision making against Leeds
Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe

by Staff Reporter

Monday May 09, 2022. 16:00

Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe became a massive talking point following Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday, with manager Mikel Arteta baffled by the wingers decision making in the game.

The Gunners faced a struggling Leeds outfit at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League and claimed all three points in the process.

Arsenal started the game on a positive note and threatened early on. Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring in the 5th minute of the match and doubled his tally five minutes later.

Just before the half-hour mark, things went from bad to worse for Leeds United after Luke Ayling was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Gabriel Martinelli. The visitors pulled one back in the 66th minute of the match as they continued to press on in search of an equaliser.

In the 90th minute of the match, Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier joined his team upfront in a corner situation. Arsenal regained possession thereafter and were quick on the break with the shot-stopper still in the Gunners’ half.

Leading the counter attack, Pepe approached the half-way line and instead of having a go at the empty net ahead of him, the winger cut back onto his stronger left foot and was swiftly disposed thereafter.

This visibly angered the Arsenal coaching team on the touchline, with Arteta mentioning that he did not understand Pepe’s decision during his post-match interviews.

“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,” said Arteta.

“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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