Pepe

Arsenal legend Ian Wright was left unimpressed with Nicolas Pepe in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

In the match played at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, the Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in favour of the hosts in the eighth minute. Ghana international Jordan Ayew then set up Christian Benteke for an equaliser five minutes after the half-time break.

It got worse for Mikel Arteta’s charges when Michael Olise teed up Odsonne Edouard for the second in the 73rd minute.

But substitute Alexandre Lacazette ensured spoils were shared in stoppage time after pouncing on a loose ball in the danger zone.

The 57-year-old has now opined where the problem was and identified the Ivory Coast international as one of the players who did not perform well.

“I think Palace totally capitalised, they did their homework on Arsenal, they closed down the right people and shut down the left side. Kieran Tierney didn’t do anything,” Wright said as quoted by Metro.

“Pepe was very disappointing again and once they scored, Arsenal did not take it to Palace.

“We have seen Palace come back a couple of times and there’s no way they were going to rest on their laurels. They were going to go for Arsenal and they did and they were unfortunate not to win.”

The ex-Gunner has further stated why Ben White should also be held responsible for the second goal his team conceded.

“I think it’s a little bit of a worry for Arsenal because when you look at both goals, we’re not getting defenders to go and engage,” Wright added.

“[White] got to get closer to him [Edouard] and he doesn’t do it. They’ve done brilliantly to score the goal.

“I think he’s got to get close to him… at no stage does Ben White close that gap. People can say what they want, maybe the goalkeeper or whatever… at no stage does that gap get smaller so why wouldn’t you shoot?”

After the draw, Arsenal are 12th with 11 points, while Palace are 14th with eight.

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