Late Nicolas Pepe free-kicks maintain Gunners’ perfect Europa League record

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Pepe lines up the first of his brilliant late free-kicks against Vitoria

Two stunning late free-kicks from Nicolas Pepe sealed a dramatic 3-2 win for Arsenal over Vitoria in the Europa League.

With Arsenal on the verge of a second defeat in four days, Unai Emery used his last change to bring on Pepe and it turned out to be a masterstroke as the Ivorian scored two sensational free-kicks in the 80th and 92nd minute to snatch a victory.

Emery’s side had struggled for long periods of the game and fell behind early when former Tottenham youth player Marcus Edwards scored inside eight minutes.

Gabriel Martinelli (32) equalised with his third Europa League goal of the campaign but Arsenal were behind again four minutes later as Bruno Duarte (36) fired home for the visitors.

Gabriel Martinelli (32) equalised with his third Europa League goal of the campaign but Arsenal were behind again four minutes later as Bruno Duarte (36) fired home for the visitors.

Vitoria shocked the Emirates when, inside eight minutes, they took the lead. Victor Garcia made a wonderful run down the right before cutting the ball in for the waiting Edwards. He dummied Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney before sweeping the ball home from close range.

It took Arsenal a while to recover but began to find their feet around the half an hour mark. Bellerin got away down the flank before cutting the ball in for the waiting Martinelli, but he could not make the right contact to send it goalwards.