Ljungberg 'so pleased' as Pepe helps Arsenal to sink West Ham

Nicolas Pepe cost Arsenal a club-record fee and interim boss Freddie Ljungberg was thrilled to see him deliver in a big London derby.

Nicolas Pepe salutes as Arsenal wins at West Ham.   -  Getty Images

Freddie Ljungberg always knew it would take Nicolas Pepe time to find his feet in the Premier League - so he was thrilled to see the Arsenal forward turn on the style.

Signed in August from Lille for an Arsenal club record fee of £72million, the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international has struggled to make the transition to the English top flight.

However, a sparkling goal and an assist from Pepe against West Ham on Monday helped interim boss Ljungberg guide Arsenal to a 3-1 win at London Stadium.

Pepe's all-round performance impressed Ljungberg, with the former Gunners midfielder acknowledging the price tag for Pepe means there is an expectation that he should consistently deliver.

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"People always ask me about Nico and I try to explain," Ljungberg said. "He comes from the French league to the Premier League, in my opinion, the best league in the world, it's a lot faster and a lot harder.

"He needs to adapt and people put pressure on him and it's not easy, but I thought what he did [on Monday], he worked really hard offensively and defensively and showed his quality.

"I'm so pleased for him because at the same time he was a big, big buy for the club and there comes pressure with that as well."

Ljungberg predicted Pepe would "fall asleep with a smile on his face" after his goal, which was sandwiched by strikes from team-mates Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal's goals came in a nine-minute burst midway through the second half, after Angelo Ogbonna gave West Ham a 38th-minute lead.

It meant that for the first time since beating Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge in October 2011, the Gunners managed to win a Premier League away game in which it was trailing at half-time.

Victory lifted Arsenal to ninth place - two points off Manchester United in fifth - and left West Ham struggling in 16th.

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