Mikel Arteta Slams Nicolas Pepe for ‘unacceptable’ Red Card

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta branded the actions of Nicolas Pepe “unacceptable” after the winger was sent off early in the second half of the 0-0 draw against Leeds United on Sunday.

The Gunners went down to ten men after Pepe got sent off for an off the ball incident. He headbutted a Leeds player and the referee confirmed that with the help of VAR. From there, the North Londoners did well to ensure that they at least got a point.

This was noted by the manager who spoke of how well the team responded after the red card incident. Leeds unleashed a flurry of attacks throughout the second half, but the visitors stood firm and ensured that the hosts couldn’t score.

Pepe’s sending off made life difficult for the Emirates club and this was one of the major talking points after the game.

When Arteta was asked about it, he told Sky Sports, transcribed by Metro:

“Yes we have to take a point considering the circumstances. I’m never happy with a point but we know what a challenge we faced in the second half for 45 minutes with 10 men.

“Yes. [I told him] it’s unacceptable.”

It was a moment of frustration that could have cost the team even more severely than it did, but the Emirates club will at least be happy that they didn’t lose the match. With the number of cameras that are at the stadium and VAR in play, it is difficult to even fathom getting away with a move like this.

What makes this even more disappointing is the fact that the North London club began the game brightly. They were getting into the game slowly in the first half and Pepe would have certainly had a role in pushing for a win.

But that was not the case and they will have to regroup now to focus on the next match. Their League form has to improve as they’re currently in 11th place and far away from the Champions League spots.

For now, Arteta has a real task at hand to make his players find some form in front of goal and win games. Leeds are a tough team to play, so the Gunners should at least be given some credit for hanging on, and getting a draw.

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