November 28, 2020

Pepe sent off for headbutt as Arsenal hold dominant Leeds

Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe’s red card was the first of his career

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe was sent off for a headbutt as Leeds’ wasteful finishing cost them a Premier League victory.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds squandered a host of chances, both before and after Pepe was dismissed after video assistant referee consultation for sticking his head into Ezgjan Alioski’s face.

Substitute Rodrigo, Patrick Bamford and Raphinha – deep into injury time on his first Premier League start – struck the woodwork.

The Gunners were poor – yet again – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 60th-minute effort was their first of two shots on target.

Both sides came into the game out of form – with three defeats in their previous four league games.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will be happy with his side’s performance, bar the finishing, with opposite number Mikel Arteta relieved to pick up a point.

Arsenal remain in the bottom half of the table, moving up to 11th, two points above Leeds in 14th.

Entertainers Leeds forget their finishing boots

Leeds were the first promoted Premier League team to score 14 goals in their opening eight matches since Charlton in 2000.

They could have used some of those goals at Elland Road, with only four of their 25 shots on target.

Their three efforts against the woodwork all came from the 79th minute onwards.

Rodrigo’s 18-yard shot hit the angle of bar and post, Bamford headed off the post and Raphinha crashed a shot off the same post late on.

Bamford had scored seven goals this season but did not look on song this time, with two shots straight at Bernd Leno in the first half.

Winger Raphinha, the first Brazilian to start a Premier League game for Leeds since Roque Junior in 2003, was lively and went close from the edge of the box, with Stuart Dallas forcing a good save from Leno.

On another day Leeds could have scored five, but they only have a point to show for their efforts and have only won once in their past six Premier League games.

Concerning times for Arsenal

The good vibes around Arsenal when they won the FA Cup and started this season with three wins in all competitions are starting to feel like a distant memory.

Arteta has helped to solidify their defence, but they have only scored nine goals in nine league games this season.

Aubameyang got a rare chance to play as their main striker, with Alexandre Lacazette left on the bench – but Arsenal struggled to create many clear-cut chances.

He took an hour to test Illan Meslier, whose only other save was to deny substitute Bukayo Saka late on.

The Gunners did have a penalty appeal when Liam Cooper blocked an Aubameyang shot with his elbow but the VAR team ruled it was not handball.

Arsenal – who only had 33.7% of the ball – were hanging on, especially after Pepe’s red card.

The Ivorian, who has rarely justified his £75m fee, had a running battle with Alioski and eventually lost his patience with a ‘football headbutt’.

Alioski threw himself to the ground and Pepe was sent off for the first time in his career.

More to follow.

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Leeds United

Starting XI

  1. Squad number1Player nameMeslier

    Average rating


  2. Squad number2Player nameAyling

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  3. Squad number5Player nameKoch

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  4. Squad number6Player nameCooper

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  5. Squad number10Player nameAlioski

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  6. Squad number23Player namePhillips

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  7. Squad number18Player nameRaphinha

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  8. Squad number43Player nameKlich

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  9. Squad number15Player nameDallas

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  10. Squad number22Player nameHarrison

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  11. Squad number9Player nameBamford

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  1. Squad number7Player namePoveda-Ocampo

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  2. Squad number20Player nameRodrigo

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Starting XI

  1. Squad number1Player nameLeno
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  2. Squad number2Player nameBellerín
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  3. Squad number16Player nameHolding
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  4. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
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  5. Squad number3Player nameTierney
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  6. Squad number8Player nameDani Ceballos
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  7. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
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  8. Squad number19Player namePépé
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  9. Squad number28Player nameWillock
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  10. Squad number12Player nameWillian
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  11. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating



  1. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating


  2. Squad number15Player nameMaitland-Niles
    Average rating


  3. Squad number24Player nameNelson
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  • 1Meslier
  • 2AylingSubstituted forRodrigoat 70′minutes
  • 5Koch
  • 6CooperBooked at 86mins
  • 10Alioski
  • 23PhillipsBooked at 90mins
  • 18Dias Belloli
  • 43Klich
  • 15DallasBooked at 15mins
  • 22HarrisonSubstituted forPoveda-Ocampoat 80′minutes
  • 9Bamford


  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 11Roberts
  • 13Casilla
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 20Rodrigo
  • 21Struijk
  • 24Davis


  • 1Leno
  • 2Bellerín
  • 16Holding
  • 6dos Santos Magalhães
  • 3Tierney
  • 8Ceballos
  • 34Xhaka
  • 19PépéBooked at 51mins
  • 28WillockSubstituted forSakaat 57′minutesSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 90+3′minutes
  • 12WillianSubstituted forNelsonat 45′minutes
  • 14Aubameyang


  • 7Saka
  • 9Lacazette
  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 20Mustafi
  • 24Nelson
  • 30Nketiah

Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Leeds United 0, Arsenal 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Leeds United 0, Arsenal 0.

  3. Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Gabriel Magalhães.

  4. Raphinha (Leeds United) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Rodrigo.

  5. Attempt missed. Rodrigo (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stuart Dallas with a cross.

  6. Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

  8. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Substitution, Arsenal. Ainsley Maitland-Niles replaces Bukayo Saka because of an injury.

  10. Attempt missed. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

  11. Attempt blocked. Robin Koch (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mateusz Klich with a cross.

  12. Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Granit Xhaka.

  13. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Ian Poveda-Ocampo with a cross.

  14. Liam Cooper (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Foul by Liam Cooper (Leeds United).

  16. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Illan Meslier.

  18. Attempt saved. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín.

  19. Attempt saved. Ian Poveda-Ocampo (Leeds United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robin Koch.

  20. Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bukayo Saka.

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