Rodgers admits Pepe forced him to make Leicester substitution

Leicester boss claims Arsenal winger was excellent on 1v1 encounters


Arsenal cruised past Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, with goals from Alexander Lacazette, David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe ensuring a first Gunners win against a team currently sitting in the top 3 since January 2015.

It capped off a brilliant week for Mikel Arteta’s men as they advanced to the Last 16 in the Europa League. They also boosted their chance of playing in Europe next season with a league win.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers claimed that Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe was “very good” on 1v1 clashes which forced him to make a change at half-time. The former Liverpool and Celtic coach substituted the rookie Luke Thomas in place of Marc Albrighton. Ricardo Pereira took Luke Thomas’ place whereas Albrighton was given a more attacking role, previously of Pereira.

After the game, the Leicester boss said on HITC, “He (Luke Thomas) had been booked. And he was up against a winger (Nicolas Pepe) who was very good on the one v one’s.”

“So, we certainly didn’t want to go down to ten men. And that was the reason.”

Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal. / (Photo by TIM KEETON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rodgers’ change did not resolve the Foxes’ fate as Pepe scored in the 52nd minute to sink the team 3-1.

Nicolas Pepe was voted as Man of the Match. Although the Ivorian has been underwhelming since his move from France in 2019, the match against Leicester might turn out to be crucial in his renaissance at the Emirates.

Yash Bisht

Tags Leicester Pepe


  1. Yash. It was Willian who was voted MOTM by Martin Keown on BT Sports, but you may have been watching it from a different output where a more realistic opinion was offered.

    1. Willian put in lots of energy. did not try his outdated stepovers and trickery which always had him loose the ball or get the opposition close out options. I Hope he watches this game to see and know quick passing and pace is what he needs to concentrate on. We will then sing his praises again

      1. His quick change of direction while standing still is one of the best in the world, in my opinion. He just has not performed that trick much at Arsenal. Hope the last 2 games in which he has played, give him confidence. Arsenal’s attacking players are finding form at the right time! #COYG

    2. Hi, Jax! Hope you are doing well. Arsenal announced their Man of The Match on their social media handles. I don’t know about BT Sports.

  2. The BBC pundit made Luiz man of the match which was my choice too. In the end it’s all about opinions and everyone’s opinion is valid whether others agree or not.

    1. If you go by the club’s social media handles, then it was Pepe. Luiz had a pretty good game too. Cheers Declan!

  3. After Watching that game, I would advise Pepe to always move far right and create more room for himself to receive the long balls from Luis, cedric , the mid and our no 10,
    He does well it seems when he has plenty of open space and not tightly marked. He would zoom passed many defenders when in his trickery fast motion.

    1. And just imagine that he is only 25! A lot of potential and a world-class Premier League player only if he is able to adapt.

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