Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has pledged his full support to Nicolas Pepe following the £72million star’s sending off away at Leeds on Sunday.

Pepe was shown a red card in the Gunners’ 0-0 draw at Elland Road for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski, with Arteta labelling his actions “unacceptable” after the stalemate.

Reports suggested the winger was set to hold crunch talks with Arteta this week, having forced his Arsenal team-mates to hang on for a point in what proved a close contest against Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

Yet to many people’s surprise, Pepe was given another start in the north London club’s Europa League showdown with Molde on Thursday night.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has pledged his full support to Nicolas Pepe following the £72million star’s sending off away at Leeds on Sunday

And he repaid Arteta's faith by getting on the scoresheet in Norway, breaking the deadlock in an eventual 3-0 victory for Arsenal.

Before the game the Spaniard opened up on Pepe’s positive reaction to Sunday’s disappointment, while also expressing his desire to see the player transform his fortunes.

“He had a really good reaction towards the players, towards every supporter, and he felt that he let the team down,” Arteta told BT Sport.

Pepe was shown a red card in the Gunners’ 0-0 draw at Elland Road for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski

“After that I have to support him. He’s a player that is constantly trying to get better and better and we have to help him to do his best.”

Pepe apologised to Arsenal fans in the wake of his moment of madness at the weekend, taking to Instagram to admit his actions were inexcusable.

But after labelling his actions "unacceptable", Arteta has given Pepe another start in their Europa League clash with Molde
And he repaid his manager's faith by getting on the scoresheet

“I let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there are no excuses for my behaviour,” the 25-year-old said on Instagram.

“I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my teammates, my coach and everyone else at the club.”

Arsenal kept their 100 per cent winning record in the Europa League going against Molde this evening.

The Spaniard is determined to see Pepe improve in north London

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Pepe gave them liftoff in Scandinavia with a superb curling finish to redeem himself after Sunday's sending off, before Reiss Nelson doubled their lead shortly after.

And youngster Folarin Balogun came off the bench to score his first goal for the club late on.