Nicolas Pepe disappoints on debut during Nice's 3-0 loss to Marseille

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

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

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

The Ivorian international left Arsenal to join Nice on a season-long loan last week, despite initially joining the Emirates for a club record fee of £72million back in 2019.

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

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

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

Slipping to 18th in the division, Favre expressed his disappointment after the match, criticising his players’ lack of energy following their Europa Conference League outing on Thursday. 

‘We’ve already discussed this (internally),’ the Nice boss told reporters after the match.

‘Tiredness was there, we had extra time (during the Conference League qualification play-offs), there are players who ran 17km, I understand (their fatigue). 

‘But we cannot put that as an explanation for his tiredness. We have to be ready, be professional. Ball recovery is essential in all professional sports.’ 

Manager Lucien Favre was unimpressed by the levels of ‘tiredness’ shown by his Nice side

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, netting ten times in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta.

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

The 27-year-old will have another chance to impress Favre on Wednesday, as Nice travel to the Stade Pierre Mauroy to face Pepe’s former club Lille.

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