Mikel Arteta Pleased With Nicolas Pepe's Response to Red Card

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was pleased with the response of Nicolas Pepe, with the Ivorian taking a starring role as the Gunners beat Molde in the Europa League only a few days after getting sent off for violent conduct in the Premier League draw with Leeds.

Pepe’s red card appeared to do no favours for his prospects under Arteta. The £72m record signing was started only his second league match of the season and the Arsenal boss has previously said he has not been consistent enough to merit more opportunities.

Pepe quickly put the recent setback behind him | SVEIN OVE EKORNESVAG/Getty Images

But Pepe, not suspended for European games, was given another start at the first opportunity and repaid his manager’s faith in the 3-0 win in Norway. The former Lille winger scored, making the third Europa League game in a row in which he has found the net.

“After the disappointment of something negative, you want to see a reaction and I could see from the first minute with his body language that he was ready to act,” Arteta said, via Arsenal.com.

“I think he had a great performance, he scored one goal and could have scored another one or two. He created some good moments in the game and worked really hard for the team, so I really like it, I am pleased with that.

“We all know what his level, and all the time the question is how often he can get to that level and how he contributes to other aspects of the game.

“This is the example of the level he needs to hit, and he needs to keep doing it because he is capable of it. You can see that every time he gets in those positions in the final third, he is a real threat and a very difficult player to control because he can go with his feet, he can come inside, he can shoot, he can create crosses and he can go in behind you as well. That is what we can expect from him.”

20-year-old Reiss Nelson was another Arsenal attacking player who made sure to grasp his opportunity and Arteta is pleased with the recent progress of the home-grown talent, not least because the youngster resisted being sent out on loan this season.

Reiss Nelson was another player who impressed Arteta | SVEIN OVE EKORNESVAG/Getty Images

“He showed a great attitude, in my opinion, to say that he didn't want to leave on loan because he believes that he's got a chance to play for this football club. He's showing that he wants to take that direction. He's performing in the right way,” Arteta explained.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Source : 90min