Nicolas Pepe’s Nice debut was effectively wrecked after completing a loan move from Arsenal to the Ligue 1 club this week. After being signed by Nice earlier this week, the Ivorian winger got his first chance to shine on Sunday afternoon. He was also facing a number of well-known opponents because both sides had former Gunners among their ranks.
Nicolas Pepe’s Debut Ruined
Aaron Ramsey, a Welsh midfielder who had recently joined the French club from Juventus, was introduced from the bench during the second period. Pepe made his debut for his new team.
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Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac, Nuno Tavares, and Alexis Sanchez were all chosen to start for the visitors for Marseille, a team that also featured a large number of former Arsenal stars.
Two of the aforementioned individuals were crucial to Marseille’s triumph. In just nine minutes, Chilean forward Sanchez, who had just joined Inter Milan, scored the game’s first goal. This was Sanchez’s third appearance of the year.
Portuguese left-back Tavares continued his impressive scoring streak by doubling the advantage from the edge of the penalty area. This was his third goal since joining the team on a season-long loan.
When Kasper Schmeichel, a former goalkeeper for Leicester City, parried Tavares’ shot, Sanchez doubled his effort for the day by making it 3-0. Sanchez was the first to react. Before Paris Saint-Le Germain’s Classique match against AS Monaco, the score remained the same until the final whistle, putting Marseille at the top of the Ligue 1 standings.
While both teams had a handful of former Arsenal players on the field, the connections to the Premier League did not stop there. Dimitri Payet, a former playmaker for West Ham United, as well as ex-Aston Villa and Newcastle players Jordan Veretout and Chancel Mbemba, also played for Marseille.
There was still time for a few other players to get a chance to play. Former Manchester United player Eric Bailly made his debut as a substitute, and former Leicester loanee Cengiz Under was also introduced.
Without a doubt, Pepe will be looking for a stronger performance in his upcoming game for Nice. Midweek will see the second match between Lucien Favre’s team and Lille.
The Gunners’ record signing responded when asked why he made the decision to transfer to Nice: “Because of the sporting project, which is highly ambitious with young players.
“I don’t think of it as going backwards. Additionally, I want to regain my sense of enjoyment with the support of the coach and the president. I made my decision in part because Lucien Favre is known for playing great football, which suits me.