Pepe’s goal lead Arse­nal’s in Europa League

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

PARIS (AFP) — Ni­co­las Pepe came off the bench to res­cue Arse­nal at home against Vi­to­ria Guimaraes with two late free kicks in the Europa League on

Thurs­day.

Arse­nal came from be­hind to win 3-2 and stay per­fect in Group F.

They are one of only two teams on nine points from three games, along with Sevilla, who beat Dude­lange of Lux­em­bourg 3-0 in Group A.

Manch­ester United are one of the teams on seven points and need just one more win to en­sure they qual­ify from Group L af­ter ek­ing out a 1-0 win against Par­ti­zan on an emo­tional day in Bel­grade.

Celtic came from a goal down to beat Lazio 2-1 in Glas­gow and re­main top of Group E. PSV Eind­hoven were held 0-0 at home by Linz but still lead Group D Rangers drew 1-1 in Porto in Group G while Wolves beat Slo­van 2-1 in Bratislava in Group K and both are in con­tention.

At the Emi­rates, Arse­nal made 10 changes from the team that lost at Sh­effield United on Mon­day in the

Pre­mier League. For much of the match, they looked even worse.

Arse­nal dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion but were out­shot 14-11.

They made the worst pos­si­ble start, fall­ing be­hind af­ter nine min­utes to a goal by a for­mer Tot­ten­ham player. In the ninth minute, Mar­cus Edwards, once com­pared by Spurs man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino to a young Li­onel Messi, fired a shot un­der Emil­iano Mar­tinez.

Brazil­ian teenager Gabriel Martinelli replied with a header but Vi­to­ria re­gained the lead be­fore half time with a goal from Bruno Duarte.

With Arse­nal’s young strik­ers strug­gling, Pepe, who had not yet scored a goal from open play for the Gun­ners, came on in the 64th minute.

Af­ter 80 min­utes he curled a free kick in­side the far post. He re­peated the trick three min­utes into added time to se­cure the vic­tory.

“It’s im­por­tant for Pepe,” said Arse­nal man­ager Unai Emery of his big sum­mer sign­ing. “He can gain con­fi­dence from tonight. When he scores it’s good for him and the team.”

In Bel­grade, Manch­ester United held a cer­e­mony to re­mem­ber the ‘Busby Babes’ and then won away for the first time since March An­thony Mar­tial scored the only goal with a penalty kick af­ter 43 min­utes, but the hosts had eight strikes on tar­get to just three by United.

The game marked the re­turn to the ground where Matt Busby’s fa­mous team of young­sters played their last game, a Euro­pean Cup quar­ter-fi­nal against Red Star in Fe­bru­ary 1958.

Their plane crashed in Mu­nich on the way home and seven United play­ers were among the 23 who died.

United had only played in Bel­grade once since then, when they lost a Euro­pean Cup semi-fi­nal to Par­ti­zan in 1966.

‘Hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment’

On Thurs­day af­ter­noon, United held a com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mony where for­mer play­ers Bryan Rob­son and Mickey Thomas laid a wreath on the pitch at the Par­ti­zan Sta­dium and vice-chair­man Ed Wood­ward gave a speech.

“As soon as the draw hap­pened, our at­ten­tion turned to want­ing to re­mem­ber those who lost their lives in 1958,” he said.

“This was the last place, on this very ground, against Red Star Bel­grade,

when they played as a team to­gether.”

For the match, United made eight changes from the team that drew at home with Liver­pool on Sun­day. Teenagers Bran­don Wil­liams and James Gar­ner came into the team. In the 43rd minute, Wil­liams burst into the Par­ti­zan box and drew wild tack­les from two home de­fend­ers. Mar­tial rolled the penalty into the cor­ner of the goal.

“We ex­pected a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment but we got the win,” said United de­fender Phil Jones. “I thought Gar­ner and Wil­liams were out­stand­ing.”

In a game in Bratislava, played in an un­usual at­mos­phere af­ter Slo­van side-stepped a sta­dium ban for racism by giv­ing 21,000 tick­ets to chil­dren, Wolves fought back from a goal down to win 2-1.

An­draz Spo­rar gave the home team an 11th minute lead.

Ro­main Saiss lev­elled in the 58th minute with a low shot that bob­bled through goalie Do­minik Greif ’s legs

Six min­utes later, Ver­non De­Marco gave Raul Jimenez a shove in front of goal and the Wolves striker scored the win­ner from the re­sult­ing penalty.

Reuters-Yon­hap

Arse­nal’s Ni­co­las Pepe scores their third goal from a free kick dur­ing its Europa League match against Vi­to­ria Guimaraes in Lon­don, Thurs­day.

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