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Nicolas Pepe disappoints in debut during 3-0 defeat of Nice against Marseille at home

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Arsenal flop Nicolas Pepe disappoints on debut amid Nice’s 3-0 home defeat to Marseille… as manager Lucien Favre insists he was unimpressed by the ‘fatigue’ displayed on his side

  • Nice boss Lucien Favre was disappointed with Nicolas Pepe’s debut for the club
  • Marseille defeated the French top 3-0 at the Allianz Riviera on Sunday
  • The Swiss coach was unimpressed by the degree of ‘fatigue’ shown on his side
  • Pepe was loaned to Nice after flopping since joining Arsenal for £72m in 2019

Nicolas Pepe disappointed on his debut for Nice as manager Lucien Favre criticized his side for showing ‘fatigue’ in their 3-0 defeat to Marseille on Sunday.

The Ivorian international left Arsenal last week to join Nice for a season, despite initially joining the Emirates for a club record £72million in 2019.

Ex-Gunners star Alexis Sanchez scored twice and Nuno Tavares, who is on loan from Arsenal, scored once to give Marseille a 3-0 lead at half-time, as Nice struggled to defend against current Ligue 1 toppers .

Nicolas Pepe disappointed in his league debut for Nice as the French side lost 3-0 to Marseille

The Ivorian winger signed for Nice for a season on loan after joining Arsenal for £72million in 2019

The Ivorian winger signed for a season with Nice after coming to Arsenal for £72m in 2019

Favre dropped to 18th in the division and expressed disappointment after the game and criticized his players’ lack of energy following their Europa Conference League outing on Thursday.

“We have already discussed this (internally),” the Nice boss told reporters after the game.

“There was fatigue, we had extra time (during the Conference League qualifying play-offs), there are players who have run 17km I understand (their fatigue).

‘But we can’t see that as an explanation for his fatigue. We have to be ready, be professional. Ball recovery is essential in all professional sports.’

Manager Lucien Favre was unimpressed by the degree of 'fatigue' on his part from Nice

Manager Lucien Favre was unimpressed by the degree of ‘fatigue’ on his part from Nice

Following his blockbuster move from Lille three years ago, Pepe struggled to impress at the Emirates, scoring just five league goals in 31 appearances during his first year at the club.

The winger managed to double his goal tally the following campaign, scoring ten times in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta.

But a goal in 20 league appearances last season prompted Arsenal to send Pepe out on loan, to give the Ivorian a chance to rediscover his form outside the Premier League spotlight.

The 27-year-old will get another chance to impress Favre on Wednesday, when Nice travels to the Stade Pierre Mauroy to take on Pepe’s former club Lille.

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