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Emery lauds Pepe after stunning free-kicks


Unai Emery hailed Nicolas Pepe’s match-winning impact as “perfect” after Arsenal’s club-record signing came off the bench to score a brace of free-kicks and see off Vitoria. The Europa League tie appeared to be heading in the direction of the Portuguese side after they twice took the lead at the Emirates Stadium, only for the £72million summer arrival to hit two free-kicks – the second of which came in stoppage time – and seal an undeserved 3-2 win. After losing at Sheffield United on Monday night, Emery launched an impassioned defence of his tenure as Gunners boss on the eve of the Group F clash. But what followed was a below-par performance rescued by the brilliance of Pepe, who until then had struggled to live up to his hefty price-tag.

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