The Spanish tactician believes the Ivorian’s effort was a moment that could have changed the game for the Gunners

Unai Emery has acknowledged Nicolas Pepe’s missed effort cost Arsenal getting a result at Sheffield United on Monday night.

The Ivory Coast international had the best moment to score after a pin-point cross was drilled in by Sead Kolasinac. The resultant effort was fired off target.

The Blades capitalised on that and scored shortly after through Lys Mousset for a precious 1-0 win.

“That was the key I think because if that [Pepe’s chance] goes in – they are the team in the Premier League who have conceded the least goals with Liverpool, seven only,” said Emery after the game.

“And if they score the first goal then defensively they are very strong and they defended very well in the second half.

“It’s not easy to create the chances, but I think we controlled the ball more in the (better) positions.

“I think we deserved more. I don’t think we deserved to lose the match, but I appreciate (Sheffield United’s) work and I appreciate they are here with their supporters.”

On Monday Night in Bramall Lane, 24-year old Pepe delivered 12 crosses which was the most for any player on the pitch. He also made five dribbles which was the joint highest alongside Bukayo Saka and Matteo Guendouzi. 

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His passing accuracy of 88.6% was the third highest among the Arsenal starters. He was substituted in the 77th minute and replaced by Gabriel Martinelli.

Pepe is Arsenal’s record signing at the tune of £72 million, and has so far failed to replicate the same form that made him hit the headlines at Lille.

He has found the back of the net just once in 11 competitive appearances, providing three assists.

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