UEFA Europa League
Result: Arsenal 3-2 Vitoria S.C
Date: 24 October 2019
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Club-record signing Nicolas Pepe came off the bench and netted two impressive free-kicks as Arsenal registered a 3-2 win over Vitoria Gumaraes on Thursday night.
The Gunners made two changes from the victory over Standard Liege as Emile Smith Rowe along with Alexandre Lacazette replaced Dani Ceballos and Reiss Nelson.
Arsenal were behind eight minutes in after Marcus Edwards turned away from Kieran Tierney to fire through the legs of Emiliano Martinez.
With a tail up their sleeve, Vitoria threatened to double their tally before halftime but got crowded out by a cluster of bodies from the home side. However, the Gunners drew level 32 minutes gone when Gabriel Martinelli leaped high at the near post to head into an empty net following a cross by Tierney.
Vitoria regained advantage four minutes later after Bruno Duarte smashed in off a rebound from the base of the post as the Gunners failed to clear their lines.
Unai Emery adjusted his dynamics at the start of the second half as experienced figures Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi entered for Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles respectively.
Smith-Rowe missed a big chance to level matters eight minutes in when he dragged an inviting ball from Tierney round the far corner with the goal at his mercy.
Emery threw his in last dice 15 minutes to the end as Pepe came off the bench for Frenchman Lacazette. The idea worked five minutes later as Pepe stepped up and curled home a free-kick from the far side of the area to level the contest.
Arsenal threatened a winner and found their just rewards in added time as Pepe completed his brace with another top drawer free-kick from the edge of the area.
The win see the Gunners remain at the top of Group F with a perfect record, while Vitoria stay rooted at the bottom.