Kieran Tierney ‘might be incensed’ with Arsenal team-mate Granit Xhaka after Leeds draw
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Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Kieran Tierney might have felt "incensed" with his team-mate Granit Xhaka after he was friendly towards Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski, despite the role he played in Nicolas Pepe's red card.
In a cagey affair at Elland Road, the match took a dramatic shift when Alioski went down after a coming together with Pepe.
The incident was not seen at the time by referee Anthony Taylor but the footage showed Pepe had leant his head into Alioski and after reviewing it on the pitchside monitor, Arsenal's record signing was sent off.
Down to 10 men, Arsenal survived a few scares to hang on to a crucial point and at full-time Xhaka and Alioski exchanged words.
Arsenal fans praised Kieran Tierney for his passionate display over Nicolas Pepe's red card
(Image: MOLLY DARLINGTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Patrice Evra slams Nicolas Pepe and tells Arsenal star not to "come crying" after red card
This appeared to have angered Tierney, who approached Alioski but was pushed away by Xhaka before it got physical.
Tierney's behaviour earned him plaudits from Arsenal fans on social media and Keown was similarly impressed, hailed the Scotsman's spirit and character.
"This is a team that are rebuilding under Arteta. I was impressed with some of the fighting spirit on show," he told the Daily Mail.
"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.
Arsenal fans have praised Kieran Tierney for standing up to Leeds star Ezgjan Alioski over Nicolas Pepe's red card
(Image: MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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"Tierney typified that spirit in the game itself, too. He’s not just at the back trying to keep a clean sheet.
"He bombs forward and puts in those extra yards for his team.
"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.
"Xhaka then pushed Tierney away from the situation when he tried to confront Alioski.
"But the dust will settle from that incident. Tierney is just the type of personality Arsenal need in their team."