Nicolas Pepe's headbutt on Ezgjan Alioski at the beginning of the second half of Arsenal's clash with Leeds was the height of stupidity and compounded a miserable afternoon for the winger.
📷 Nicolas Pepe: Match Snapshot
Pepe was given the nod from the start by Mikel Arteta, a vote of confidence after a spell in which he had been used from the bench in the Premier League.
And in the opening exchanges he looked encouraging, completing three dribbles and hitting the crossbar with a cross. But as the match went on his influence regressed, and a moment which virtually sums up his Arsenal career to date.
🔴 ⏱️ 50' An altercation with Alioski led to Pepe leaning his head into the Leeds player, who reacted and went down. It was a soft connection but the intent was there, and the referee had no choice but to send him off.
〽️ Pepe: Rating Week-on-Week
Pepe's performances have been on a downward trend for some time and his 6.1 FC Rating, scored in 25 minutes against Aston Villa, was still better than the 5.6 FC Rating he received ad Elland Road.
🗝️ Key Stats
Pepe match stats
|FC Rating||5.6||Flop of the Match|
|Pass Comp %||79%|
Pepe: What Next?
Pepe's Arsenal career has not been what fans expected. He arrived with a big reputation and a huge £70m fee, but the club have not been rewarded with results on the pitch so far.
His Arsenal career feels at a real crossroads and the fact Arteta has only trusted him in the Europa League so far speaks volumes as to his current status.