Arteta angry at Pépé over ‘unacceptable’ red card in Arsenal stalemate at Leeds

It would be unfair to reduce this match to a single flashpoint given that the absence of goals says nothing of an absorbing, often breathless contest that deserved far better. Leeds should have deepened Arsenal’s anxieties but their annoyance at not doing so can be explained by a skirmish that tipped the scales firmly in their favour.

Nicolas Pépé and Ezgjan Alioski had been engaged in a low-key running battle during the early stages of the second half and, after a bout of niggling outside the Leeds penalty area with the ball several yards away, the home left-back tumbled to the floor clutching his face. It took a VAR check to apprise Anthony Taylor that Pépé had pushed his forehead into that of his adversary, the motion clear enough to be classed as violent conduct even if Alioski’s reaction was almost as reprehensible.

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