Nicolas Pepe has broken his silence after he was sent off in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw at Leeds with an apology to fans.
The £72million winger saw red 51 minutes into the Premier League clash at Elland Road after headbutting Ezgjan Alioski.
Though Arsenal held on to earn a point, manager Mikel Arteta was furious with Pepe’s “unacceptable” actions and said the Ivorian had “let the team down” in a withering post-match assessment.
Pepe will now miss the Gunners’ next three Premier League games, including the crunch North London derby with high-flying Tottenham.
And the 25-year-old has taken to social media to apologise for his rash actions against Leeds.
“I have let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there is no excuses for my behaviour,” Pepe wrote in an Instagram post.
“I’m deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club.”
Pepe has scored just one goal in eight games in the Premier League this season and failed to make good on a rare start in the competition.
Who should start in Pepe’s place as Arsenal host Wolves on Sunday? Have your say here.
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Former Arsenal assistant and interim manager Freddie Ljungberg was bitterly disappointed by the former Lille star’s sending off.
“He can’t have any complaints. The Leeds player wasn’t in pain but the rules are the rules,” Ljungberg told Sky Sports .
“It’s very disappointing because he hasn’t played too much and had an opportunity today. He stops his own progress with his behaviour.
“I thought this game would be good for Pepe. I thought he would be a match-winner but instead it ends up like this.”
Though he is suspended in the Premier League, Pepe will be available for the trip to Molde on Thursday as Arsenal look to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Europa League.
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