Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe was sent off in the second half of his side’s trip to face Leeds at Elland Road yesterday.

The winger headbutted Gianni Alioski and was dismissed after Anthony Taylor consulted VAR.

Speaking on Match of the Day 2 at 11:30pm, 22/11, BBC pundit Danny Murphy criticised the Leeds star for his role in the incident.

He felt Alioski went down too easily, and sympathised with Kieran Tierney who went to remonstrate with the versatile Whites man after the game.

Leeds United v Arsenal - Premier League
(Molly Darlington – Pool/Getty Images)

“What is also unacceptable for me is Alioski’s response,” said Murphy. “Going over when he didn’t have to, that wasn’t enough to put him on his back.

“Too often we see players trying to stitch up other players. I know you’ll get people saying that’s normal now. That’s not normal to me. That’s why Tierney, an honest lad, is fuming.”

Murphy added in his BBC column: “I don’t like to see players go down as easily as Ezgjan Alioski did.”

But as host Mark Chapman pointed out, if Alioski doesn’t go down like that, does Pepe get sent off?


This writer’s view is that Alioski had every right to go down as he did, to draw attention to the incident.

There’s not much to be gained from staying on your feet and Pepe was in the wrong for doing something everybody knows brings about a red card.

In the end, it didn’t help Leeds get the three points that their performance deserved.

Related Topics