Arsenal's $94 million record signing scored his first goal from open play for the club, and it was a stunning curled effort from near the edge of the box


Nicolas Pepe produced a moment of magic for Arsenal on Monday night to bring to an end his goal drought from open play and hand Freddie Ljungberg his first win as interim manager.

The Ivorian, who moved to the Gunners for a club record $94 million in the summer, curled a stunning effort into the top corner in the 66th minute against West Ham to make the score 2-1 and effectively seal his side's victory.

Arsenal had trailed through a fortunate Angelo Ogbonna goal late in the first half, but three goals in nine minutes in the second — first from Gabriel Martinelli, then Pepe, then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — completed a fine turnaround. 

You can watch Pepe's strike here:

Prior to the game at the London Stadium, Pepe had scored just three goals for Arsenal, all of which had come from set pieces.

His lack of prowess in front of goal has led to criticism from not only the club's fans, but a number of its former players too, including Charlie Nicholas said that Pepe's arrival had "not improved [Arsenal] at all," according to Goal.

Pepe has also been critical of himself, telling RMC Sport that his start to life at the Emirates stadium had been a "bit negative" and that "lots of aspects" of his game need improvement.

Ljungberg, however, who took over as Arsenal coach after the sacking of Unai Emery last week, believes the 24-year-old has all he needs to succeed in the Premier League, and those expecting instant results from him must be patient.

"People always ask me about Nico and I try to explain," Ljungberg told Sky Sports after the match. "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."

Arsenal's win was its first in 10 games, and moves it up to ninth in the Premier League table, level on points with Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, and Newcastle United.

Freddie Ljungberg's side next takes on Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday December 12.