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Martin Keown thinks Kieran Tierney may have been incensed by Arsenal teammate

Nicolas Pepe may have been the Arsenal player who was sent off on Sunday, but Martin Keown has told the Daily Mail that Granit Xhaka’s actions after the full-time whistle may have been what infuriated Kieran Tierney.

It proved to be another frustrating day for Mikel Arteta’s side. They had their chances to beat Leeds. However, there is no question that the Gunners rode their luck.

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Of course, the most notable incident came when Pepe was sent off in the early stages of the second-half. The Ivory Coast international clashed with Gjanni Alioski and ultimately lost his cool.


It also appeared to lead to an incident after the full-time whistle. Tierney had to be led away by a number of teammates after confronting Alioski.

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Interestingly, Keown has hinted that Xhaka may have been partially responsible for Tierney’s anger.

“The way Kieran Tierney was trying to have a word with Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski at full-time — the player he saw as the protagonist in Pepe’s sending off — showed impressive fighting spirit,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Tierney might have felt incensed to see Granit Xhaka with his arm around Alioski at the end of the game after what had happened.

“I would have certainly felt like that if I’d seen one of my team-mates practically fraternising with the enemy.”

TBR View: Criticism of Xhaka seems unfair

In fairness to Xhaka, it seems unlikely that his actions frustrated Tierney further. The left-back clearly felt that Alioski had made the most of the clash with Pepe to ensure that he got in trouble.

Having said that, it does appear that the large majority of Arsenal fans – including Keown himself earlier in his column – are laying the blame at Pepe’s door.

It was his error that threatened to cost the Gunners. And when the dust settles, it will be Pepe who needs to regain Arteta’s trust.

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