Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided an insight into a late-night text he received from Nicolas Pepe, ahead of the club’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Pepe, of course, played a starring role in the latest crucial 3-point haul secured by the Gunners on Thursday night.
Amid the club’s ongoing pursuit of a Premier League top-4 berth, Arteta and co. welcomed Wolves to the Emirates, hopeful of putting Bruno Lage’s men to the sword for the second time in ten days.
And, when all was said and done, this is precisely what Arsenal managed, courtesy of a comeback 2-1 triumph.
Wide-man Pepe, meanwhile, set the wheels in motion on the hosts’ recovery, emerging from the bench to level things up inside the closing ten minutes of play, before Alexandre Lacazette’s deflected effort made sure that the three points remained in north London deep into injury-time.
Arsenal equalise! 🔴
A lovely turn and finish from Nicolas Pepe, and now the Gunners will search for a winner 👀 pic.twitter.com/L79STrcZ03
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) February 24, 2022
And now, as alluded to above, Mikel Arteta has provided an insight into a message received from Pepe late on Wednesday night, making his contribution against Wolves all the more telling.
Speaking in a press conference, the Arsenal boss revealed that his Ivorian international attacker actually became father to a baby during the early hours of Thursday.
Pepe, though, nevertheless made his intention to feature for the club less than 24 hours later clear, a gesture which was evidently appreciated by his manager:
Arteta after the Wolves game:
“Pepe, he had a baby last night. At 2-3am he text me and said yeah, I want to come and help the team. So this thing happened and it isn’t a coincidence, it’s because the togetherness and unity is there.” pic.twitter.com/3yrskjAObN
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) February 25, 2022
Watford next up
As a reward for their 3rd successive Premier League triumph, Arsenal will actually be afforded some well-earned time off this weekend.
Whilst the likes of north London rivals Tottenham and top-4 challengers Manchester United take on Leeds and Watford respectively, Mikel Arteta’s squad will watch on from home, owing to the chaotic nature of the Premier League fixture list at present.
Instead, the Gunners are primed to return to the pitch on Sunday week, when they make the trip to Vicarage Road for a meeting with Watford.
Talking points | Last-gasp Lacazette secures all three points as Arsenal climb within one point of fourth in 2-1 win
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