Nicolas Pepe sent off for ‘idiotic’ headbutt on Alioski as Arsenal hold on for draw vs Leeds

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Nicolas Pepe was sent off for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski as Arsenal were held to a goalless draw against Leeds on Sunday.

Starting just his second Premier League game of the season, the Gunners winger was dealt his marching orders thanks to VAR in the 51st minute.

Pepe leaned his head into Alioski

Sky Sports

Pepe leaned his head into Alioski

Anthony Taylor had no doubts after seeing the footage

Getty – Pool

Anthony Taylor had no doubts after seeing the footage

After a brief look at his pitchside monitor, referee Anthony Taylor brandished the card at Elland Road.

Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler branded the headbutt ‘idiotic’ as he said Pepe had ‘let his side down’.

Footage showed the pair pushing each other minutes earlier, before clashing again when Pepe saw red.

Leeds, who dominated the first-half as Raphinha and Patrick Bamford went close, ramped up the pressure on Arsenal following Pepe’s dismissal.

Bernd Leno produced a superb one-handed save to deny Stuart Dallas from close-range as substitute Rodrigo hit the bar in the 79th minute.


Arsenal rarely threatened, however, Mikel Arteta’s side had a perfect opportunity to score the winner six minutes from time.

Hector Bellerin’s brilliant run ended with the right-back playing Bukayo Saka in on goal, but the 19-year-old was foiled by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Bamford added to Leeds’ frustrations when he headed on to the bar three minutes from time.

To compound Arsenal’s could also be without Saka as he was forced off with an injury in stoppage time.

Leeds hit the woodwork for a THIRD time through Raphinha in the 95th minute.





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