Mikel Arteta slams ‘unacceptable’ Nicolas Pepe for ‘letting team down’ following Leeds stalemate

Mikel Arteta was left furious with Nicolas Pepe after the Arsenal forward was sent off for a mindless headbutt on Leeds forward Ezgjan Alioski in the 0-0 stalemate at Elland Road.
Replays showed the Ivory Coast international bringing his head towards Alioski – who went down clutching his face – and referee Anthony Taylor brandished a straight red to Gunners’ club record signing after watching the altercation on a pitchside monitor.
Taylor brandished a red to Pepe in the second halfGetty – Pool
The incident will do no favours for Pepe, who has been criticised for failing to produce a consistent run of displays since his whopping £72million move from Lille in 2019.
Arteta was visibly seething after the match and said that Pepe’s actions were ‘unacceptable’ and ‘let the team down’.
“I never like a draw but in the circumstances it’s a point. It (the red card) is unacceptable,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports.
The Gunners boss also referred to Pepe when discussing a late chance for Bukayo Saka, saying: “It was the best chance in the game, I thought the keeper did well. The reality is they threatened a lot our box and we were lucky on some occasions.
Arteta was furious with Pepe after the game
“With 10 men it is a big disadvantage. I really liked the personality of the team when Pepe let the team down, how we stuck to do what we had to do and had a moment or two to win the game, but obviously it makes it really difficult.”
Leeds winger Stuart Dallas felt his side were unlucky not to take all three points.
“I think we created enough chances and did enough to win it. The sending-off changed the game and they were camped in,” Dallas said.
“But if you aren’t going to win the game you have to make sure you don’t lose it. We’ll take a point and move on.
“We were unfortunate one of those chances that hit the woodwork didn’t go in. There were plenty of positives and we’ll look forward to next week.”


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