Leeds United and Arsenal released a statement following the racist abuse towards Ezgjan Alioski and Nicolas Pepe during Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Elland Road. The issue began when Pepe headbutted Alioski.
Pepe was shown a straight red card at the beginning of the second half and got sent off on the 51st minute of the match. The red card violation will also rule Pepe out of Arsenal’s three domestic matches against Burnley, Tottenham, and Wolves. It is also the reason why several racist abuse statements are aimed at two players. As a matter of fact, it was reported that the family of Alioski was also threatened.
‘We utterly condemn the vile abuse directed at Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski on social media following our match against Leeds United’, Arsenal said in a statement.
‘This is completely unacceptable and we will be working with the police and authorities to do everything we can to trace and prosecute the culprits’, the team added. On the other hand, Leeds also released a similar statement to take action and protect both players.
Arteta dissatisfied with draw
The goalless draw between Arsenal and Leeds United saw the former with 9 shots, 2 of those on target. Arsenal also made 310 passes in the match and had possession of the ball 33% of the time. The Gunners are still trying to pick up their pace this season in the EPL but they’re not completely washed out in the league just yet, so fans of the club are still hopeful to place a bet for the next Arsenal game.
There are also a lot of replays showing Alioski shoving Pepe who responded through a headbutt. This gesture caused the winger to drop.
Despite trying to take advantage after Pepe was sent off, Leeds still found it difficult to score a goal. In fact, Bernd Leno went for a forced good save when Raphinha dropped a ball to Stuart Dallas. Leno’s swift dive just came in time after Dallas took two touches before sending the ball towards Arsenal’s goal.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta talks about the goalless draw. ‘Considering how early we got Pepe sent off we have to take it. I never like a draw but in the circumstances, it’s a point. It is unacceptable’, he said.
‘The first half there were two different periods. The game broke a bit, we started to give the ball away and led to them having the space to break. The second half it was a matter of defending well and staying patient and using the pace of our players in the space they were leaving’, Arteta added.
Evra’s say on the incident
Patrice Evra, a former professional football player, who also served as the captain of both Manchester United and the France national team had opinions on the incident. He believes that Alioski deserves an Oscar award in a sarcastic fashion. This is because the winger easily fell on the ground after a ‘light’ headbutt.
‘You are not playing a lot and Arteta gave you a chance, so do not cry when you play the next game. When you do that it is frustrating. It is silly. I think (Pepe) should say sorry to all his team-mates because Arsenal had a plan and of course everything changed’, Evra said.
As of writing, Arsenal is on the 12th with 13 points while Leeds are on the 14th with 11 points. Tune in and place a bet for next Arsenal game.