Arsenal boss Arteta: Nicolas Pepe ‘heading in right direction’ after impressive showing vs Sheffield United

Arsenal into semis

Sunday’s FA Cup action kicked off earlier today, as Arsenal travelled to Sheffield United.

Manchester United were the first side to book their spot in this season’s semi-finals, with a late Harry Maguire winner having seen the Red Devils advance past Norwich on Saturday.

And Mikel Arteta and co. were no doubt desperate to add their name into the hat today.

On season-long form, Arsenal didn’t look to stand much of a chance against Sheffield United.

However, the Blades have been far from their best since the campaign’s restart.

And the visitors at Bramall Lane would take full advantage of this on Sunday, with a Nicolas Pepe penalty opening the scoring inside 25 minutes.

Chris Wilder’s side would cause Arsenal a fair few problems from set-pieces throughout the tie, with David McGoldrick having equalised with just three minutes of normal time remaining.

However, in part due to some poor goalkeeping, Dani Ceballos would bag a winner for Arsenal 91 minutes in, sending them to Wembley.

Highlights: Sheffield United 1-Arsenal 2

Arteta on Pepe

Arguably Arsenal’s best performer at Bramall Lane was Nicolas Pepe.

The Ivorian hasn’t had the best time since his club-record move to Arsenal last summer.

But the winger has now managed to net eight and assist eight for the Gunners this term, a contribution only bettered by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

And after an impressive display on Sunday, Pepe has been singled out for special praise from Mikel Arteta.

Speaking in his post-Sheffield United presser, the Spaniard was asked if he is excited about what Pepe can bring to Arsenal next season and beyond.

And after assuring that he is very excited, Arteta went on to state that he believes Pepe is heading ‘in the right direction’:

“Very much. I am very excited about what he can bring and what he’s bringing to the team this season. I think he’s made a click. I think he realises what he needs to do when his team as well when we don’t have the ball.

“I’m so pleased today, if you see his defensive actions it’s incredible what he was doing and then with the ball he gives us that creativity. [He’s] a player that we need, and big teams need and it’s always unpredictable what can happen when he has the ball is at his feet. So I think [he is going] in the right direction.”

Quotes via

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Tottenham vs Arsenal odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Tottenham vs Arsenal Full time result
Tottenham vs Arsenal Result/Both teams score
Tottenham vs Arsenal Correct Score
Tottenham vs Arsenal Goalscorers
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang8/58/51/1
Alexandre Lacazette21/1021/1013/10
Harry Kane21/1021/1013/10
Heung-Min Son13/513/513/8
Eddie Nketiah3/13/17/4

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