Mikel Arteta condemns Nicolas Pepe's idiotic headbutt on Ezgjan Alioski
'There are no excuses'
Arsenal held on against Leeds United to earn a point from a 0-0 draw at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon. The visitors made the task a lot more difficult than it needed to be, though, when Nicolas Pepe was sent off just five minutes into the second half for violent conduct after he headbutted Leeds midfielder Ezgjan Alioski.
The pair had been involved in a few aggressive duels before tempers boiled over and the Arsenal winger pushed his head into Alisoki, who did what all footballers do in that instance, and dropped to the ground.
Anthony Taylor didn't need to watch the incident for too long before he brandished a red card, reducing Arsenal to 10 men for the remaining 40 minutes (plus injury time).
What a frankly ludicrous thing to do pic.twitter.com/0VEXDwzUvF
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 22, 2020
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has condemned the actions of his player, saying it was "unacceptable."
"Considering how early Pepe got sent off, we have to take [the draw]," Arteta said.
Asked whether there was any excuse for Pepe's actions, he promptly responded: "No. It's unacceptable."
🗣️ "It is unacceptable..."
Mikel Arteta fuming with Nicolas Pepe after his red card at Leeds United pic.twitter.com/6qpV9c2XUh
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 22, 2020
Arsenal were fortunate not to concede in the second half, as Leeds hit the woodwork three times. The visitors could have stolen all three points for themselves though, as substitute Bukayo Saka raced in behind to latch onto a terrific pass from Hector Bellerin, only to be denied by an excellent piece of goalkeeping from the young Illan Meslier.
"I was like, 'we're here now, let's just get it done'. If I'd been a bit more patient, it would have been better."@DarrenBent recalls joining Fulham on loan because he "couldn't be bothered" to travel across London to Crystal Palace
All To Play For w/ @Coral pic.twitter.com/bngKTqbNKV
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 20, 2020