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Leeds United 0-0 Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe sent off in goalless draw

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
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.

They have scored one Premier League goal, an Aubameyang penalty against Manchester United, in five games since 4 October.

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 manager Marcelo Bielsa says it was 'frustrating' to see his side draw with Arsenal

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

Leeds 0-0 Arsenal: Mikel Arteta calls Nicolas Pepe red card 'unacceptable'

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. That is their lowest tally at this stage since 1986-87.

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.

Arsenal are red card kings under Arteta - match stats

  • This was only Leeds' third goalless draw in 101 league matches under Bielsa.
  • Since Bielsa took charge of Leeds in 2018, they have kept 41 clean sheets in 101 league games (excluding play-offs), more than any other side in the top four tiers of English league football in this time.
  • Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last five league games, this after having only done so in three of Arteta's first 24 Premier League matches in charge.
  • Leeds' 25 shots is the most by any side without scoring in the Premier League since Manchester City's 26 against Southampton in July. They are only the third side to have so many shots in the league this season.
  • Since Arteta joined Arsenal in December 2019, the Gunners have received five Premier League red cards, at least two more than any other club in this time.

What's next?

Leeds visit Everton next Saturday (17:30 GMT). Arsenal visit Molde in the Europa League on Thursday (17:55) and host Wolves on Sunday (19:55 GMT).

Player of the match

RodrigoRodrigo Moreno

with an average of 6.94

Leeds United

  1. Squad number20Player nameRodrigo
    Average rating

    6.94

  2. Squad number23Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    6.82

  3. Squad number18Player nameRaphinha
    Average rating

    6.81

  4. Squad number1Player nameMeslier
    Average rating

    6.79

  5. Squad number15Player nameDallas
    Average rating

    6.72

  6. Squad number43Player nameKlich
    Average rating

    6.57

  7. Squad number9Player nameBamford
    Average rating

    6.51

  8. Squad number10Player nameAlioski
    Average rating

    6.51

  9. Squad number7Player namePoveda-Ocampo
    Average rating

    6.48

  10. Squad number22Player nameHarrison
    Average rating

    6.47

  11. Squad number2Player nameAyling
    Average rating

    6.40

  12. Squad number6Player nameCooper
    Average rating

    6.26

  13. Squad number5Player nameKoch
    Average rating

    6.05

Arsenal

  1. Squad number1Player nameLeno
    Average rating

    6.23

  2. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating

    5.55

  3. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating

    5.45

  4. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
    Average rating

    5.13

  5. Squad number2Player nameBellerín
    Average rating

    4.88

  6. Squad number16Player nameHolding
    Average rating

    4.77

  7. Squad number8Player nameDani Ceballos
    Average rating

    4.72

  8. Squad number24Player nameNelson
    Average rating

    4.32

  9. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    4.30

  10. Squad number15Player nameMaitland-Niles
    Average rating

    4.29

  11. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating

    4.11

  12. Squad number28Player nameWillock
    Average rating

    3.93

  13. Squad number12Player nameWillian
    Average rating

    3.55

  14. Squad number19Player namePépé
    Average rating

    2.93

Line-ups

Leeds

  • 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

Substitutes

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

Arsenal

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

Substitutes

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

Match Stats

Home TeamLeedsAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home25
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leeds United 0, Arsenal 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leeds United 0, Arsenal 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Gabriel Magalhães.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Booking

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Substitution

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

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Granit Xhaka.

  13. Post update

    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. Booking

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Liam Cooper (Leeds United).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Illan Meslier.

  18. Post update

    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 with a through ball.

  19. Post update

    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. Post update

    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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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Tottenham96212191220
2Liverpool96212116520
3Chelsea953122101218
4Leicester96031812618
5Southampton85121612416
6Everton95131916316
7Aston Villa85031911815
8West Ham94231510514
9Crystal Palace84131212013
10Man Utd84131314-113
11Arsenal9414910-113
12Wolves841389-113
13Man City83321011-112
14Leeds93241417-311
15