Arsenal disastrous lost to Brighton on Saturday afternoon, all but ending their Champions League hopes. Despite the loss, however, there were some positives. Here are three.
It was an awful defeat. After losing 3-0 to Manchester City in a confirming loss that showed just how far behind Arsenal are at present, they then proceeded to produce the quintessential Gunners defeat: an added-time capitulation against a team that has not won a single match in 2020. Brighton and Hove Albion will be ecstatic with the three points, of course, but it was Arsenal who threw this game away.
Predictably, the reaction has been hugely negative. However, there were some positives to take from the 2-1 loss. In fact, here are three.
3. Nicolas Pepe responded
After providing a goal and three assists in his final three league matches before lockdown, hopes were high for Nicolas Pepe’s final stages of the season. Then he not only sat on the bench for Arsenal’s loss to City; he didn’t even come off the bench, Arteta turning to young Reiss Nelson midway through the second half instead.
Want your voice heard? Join the Pain In The Arsenal team!
Write for us!
However, on this occasion, Pepe was handed the starting role on the right wing. And he responded to Arteta’s challenge, which came with stark words in the week:
“It’s clear that his consistency has not been at the level he can produce. He’s the first to accept that. That’s what I’m going to demand of a player of his level and calibre <…> He’s one of the players in the squad that can do it and must take the responsibility.”
Pepe was dangerous in the first half, skinning Dan Burn on several occasions whenever he was isolated against the Brighton defender. And then he produced the crucial moment of offensive quality, firing a lovely finish into the far corner from just inside the penalty area. He responded to Arteta’s challenge.