Saka’s outburst at Pepe as Arteta backs Arsenal star after emotions run high

Bukayo Saka and Gabrel were quick to let Nicolas Pepe know that they were both upset with his decision-making during Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday

Mikel Arteta post game press conference Burnley

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel were both visibly frustrated at Pepe during Arsenal’s win over Burnley.

The Ivorian has been widely criticised for failing to live up to his £72million price tag since moving to north London in 2019.

And his performance at Turf Moor was another example of that as he was regularly wasteful in the final third, especially in the first half when Arsenal were on top and looking for that killer second goal, after Martin Odegaard’s magnificent free-kick put them in front.

Pepe’s teammates were quick to let him know that they were upset with his decision-making during the 1-0 victory.

Bukayo Saka in action for Arsenal vs Burnley



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Saka was furious when the winger’s cutback went behind him which would have left the English star with just Nick Pope to beat from close range.

And Gabriel was also angry at the 26-year-old for a defensive mistake in the second half as Arsenal came under pressure from Burnley as they looked for an equaliser.

The centre-half could be seen screaming at Pepe to track back after an Arsenal counterattack failed to develop.

But Mikel Arteta defended the Brazilian as he hailed the stopper for how vocal he was on the pitch as his communication skills get better and better every week.

He said: “We know that he’s a player with an incredible future and is already giving us a lot.

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe and Burnley’s Charlie Taylor battle for the ball


Anthony Devlin/PA Wire)

“He has adapted really well to the league. That’s why we signed him.

“He is stepping in, his language is much better and he can coach and communicate much better with his teammates.

“He understands what we want and I don’t think it gets much harder than playing here in the Premier League. He was absolutely terrific today against Burnley.”

Burnley defender Matthew Lowton vies with Arsenal’s Gabriel



Arteta was delighted his side could withstand the pressure Burnley threw at them in the second half and reckons it will bring them together as a unit moving forward as they slowly but surely climb up the Premier League table.

He added: “It builds confidence and trust and belief that you can go through difficult moments in matches and still win at the end.

“That’s the outcome we all want.”

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