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VAR steals the show as Arsenal and Leeds draw

Pepe sent off, penalty claim overruled: VAR steals the show as 10-man Arsenal hold Leeds to a goalless draw

November 22, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
A number of subplots marred Sunday's encounter with the Video Assistant Referee dominating.

Arsenal fans have bemoaned the inconsistency of the Video Assistant Referee once more after the technology dealt them blows in Sunday's Premier League clash with Leeds United. The Gunners were forced to hold on for a 0-0 draw at Elland Road after they were reduced to 10 men and had a penalty appeal for a handball overturned.

Having struggled to score a goal from open-play since their 3-1 win over Sheffield United on October 4, Arsenal were reeling to finally break the cycle despite the absence of their midfield pivot of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny. While Arteta's men made a strong claim for this, they were equally matched by the Peacocks who were also looking for their first win in four outings.

The chance to mount a proper contest, however, evaded the grip of the visitors who were forced with to compete from the 51st minute onwards with 10 men following the sending off of Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian international received his marching orders after a VAR check revealed to Anthony Taylor that he headbutted Leeds left-back Ezgjan Alioski.

Moments later, Arsenal had the impression that they were on their way to potentially take the lead through a spot-kick after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had his shot hitting the elbow of Liam Cooper in Leeds' penalty area. However, the shouts were not justified with the VAR team ruling in favor of the hosts.

The final result meant that Arsenal will end this round of matches in 11th position. The club has so far failed to score a goal from open-play in over seven hours with their nine goals in the Premier League this season being their lowest tally at this stage since 1986-87.


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