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Leeds fans discuss Raphinha's first start in draw against Arsenal

Leeds United failed to nab all three points as Arsenal’s rearguard held on to a 0-0 draw at Elland Road despite Nicolas Pepe’s second-half red card – and Leeds fans have discussed Raphinha’s first start.

The two sides met for the second time in 2020, after Leeds suffered FA Cup third-round defeat back in January. Raphinha, signed from Rennes in January, was given his first start of the season – in place of Helder Costa.

Leeds dominated proceedings. Patrick Bamford, Mateusz Klich and Luke Ayling all had first-half chances, while Rodrigo crashed a shot against the bar in the second 45. Raphinha was direct with speed and trickery.

The moment of the match came just after the restart when Pepe was shown a red card. VAR replays showed the Ivory Coast winger headbutted Gjanni Alioski. Arsenal defended deep, and held on to a point.

(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

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That is, even after top scorer Bamford crashed an excellent header against the post with Bernd Leno beaten. Frustrating for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, but an excellent reaction after losing heavily to Leicester and Crystal Palace.

The Gunners did have chances, with Bukayo Saka missing a one-on-one. Raphinha lasted the entire 90 minutes in his debut outing, with the £28,000-a-week (TMW) Leeds man being kept on – Jack Harrison making way, instead.

Leeds supporters reacted on Twitter to Raphinha’s first start, in a match that Leeds will feel they deserved to win. Many were impressed with the Brazilian’s efforts, despite his injury-time effort which kissed the post.

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