Martin Keown praised Nicolas Pepe after scoring a wing against Prague’s Slavia on Thursday night.
Ivory scored to give Arsenal the lead in the 86th minute, penetrating before a clever finish sent the ball over the goalkeeper after he came off the bench.
The Gunners failed to retain the lead, giving up three minutes in overtime, and Thomas Holes scored what could prove to be a key away goal ahead of next week’s rematch.
But even with that late goal that Arsenal overcame, Keown praised Pepe after the 1-1 draw in the Europa League, highlighting the winger mentality after he turned away from criticism and scored a goal.
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“What I’m going to say about Pepe: it doesn’t matter how many times you knock him out or leave him out, when he comes in, he’s capable of doing something like that,” Keown told BT Sport.
“That is why Arsenal is not out of this relationship and they will know it, it is about bringing those players to the boiling point at the right time – that is now the task of this manager.
“By choosing the right 11, by choosing the right tactics, maybe now he can play Saka on that left side. I thought the left side of Arsenal looked especially weak until those changes were made.
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“Willian wasn’t in the game, Cedric didn’t give us as much breadth as Tierney.”
Arsenal will now have to score in the Czech Republic to have a chance to advance to the next round after that late goal at the Emirates Stadium.
If Mikel Arteta’s men find a way to progress, they will probably face Villarreal in the semifinals, and the Spanish team will take a 1-0 lead over Dinamo Zagreb before the home game.