Nicolas Pepe comes off the bench to save Arsenal’s blushes

Europa League round-up: Raul Jimenez completes Wolves comeback; Rangers take a point away to Porto

Arsenal 3 Vitoria Guimaraes 2

Arsenal's club-record signing Nicolas Pepe stepped off the bench to score two free-kicks and seal a Europa League comeback win over Vitoria and spare the blushes of under-fire head coach Unai Emery.

After losing at Sheffield United on Monday night, Emery launched an impassioned defence of his tenure as Gunners boss on the eve of the Group F clash – but what followed was as below-par performance rescued by the brilliance of his £72 million man, who struck a fine brace to earn a 3-2 win.

Without a goal from their first two games and with no away win in Europe since 2005, Vitoria stunned the Emirates Stadium as former Tottenham winger Marcus Edwards opened the scoring before Bruno Duarte restored the lead following Gabriel Martinelli's equaliser.


With more than one “Emery Out” banner displayed and the crowd singing for Mesut Özil – again absent from the matchday squad – it was clear Emery’s calls for patience from supporters had largely fallen on deaf ears but the stadium erupted as Pepe curled in two wonderful free-kicks in the final 10 minutes.

Vitoria – with a lengthy injury-list and resting some players ahead of Sunday’s Primeira Liga clash at Sporting – will ultimately leave London disappointed that they failed to secure a point, let alone the three they looked destined for.

Slovan Bratislave 1 Wolves 2

Raul Jimenez capped Wolves' Europa League comeback as they laboured to a 2-1 win at Slovan Bratislava.

The striker’s penalty fired Nuno Espirito Santo’s men to an unconvincing victory as they moved into second in Group K.

Andraz Sporar’s opener was cancelled out by Romain Saiss’s deflected second-half effort before Jimenez won and converted a penalty five minutes later.

Diogo Jota was sent off late on after two quickfire yellow cards but they survived to sit a point behind group leaders Braga.

Porto 1 Rangers 1

Alfredo Morelos netted his 10th Europa League goal of the season as an impressive Rangers drew 1-1 in Porto.

Morelos levelled a minute before half-time after a brilliant assist from left back Borna Barisic.

The striker's Colombia team-mate, Luis Diaz, had given the hosts the lead from long range eight minutes earlier after clinically punishing Ryan Jack's slack pass during a spell of pressure from the hosts.

But that was a rare period of anxiety for around 3,000 travelling fans, who made their presence felt among the 31,307 crowd in the Estadio do Dragao.

Rangers produced some excellent passing moves and were the more dangerous side after the interval with Morelos being denied in style by the home goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin, although Allan McGregor's late double stop ultimately earned the visitors their fourth point in the group.