Why Bernd Leno was Right to Slam Brighton Player Neal Maupay

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Bernd Leno took the time to have a real go at Neal Maupay as he was stretchered off following the Brighton man’s ‘challenge’ and he had every right.

Arsenal lost Bernd Leno to what looked like a serious knee injury when he jumped to collect a ball and was shoved for no reason by Maupay, making him land awkwardly.

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (on stretcher) remonstrates with Brighton's French striker Neal Maupay after the keeper was injured during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP)

It is something that happens all the time in football and is never taken seriously. Martin Atkinson, a referee involved in around a quarter of all Arsenal matches this season, saw no need to give a card.

That isn’t surprising. He let Brighton players kick Saka and Pepe (and others) with impunity, it’s what he does:

As I write this, I don’t know how bad Leno’s injury is, but it looks like it could well be the end of his season, and will probably rule him out of a lot of next season. Make no mistake, without Leno, Arsenal wouldn’t even be anywhere near the top half of the table this season.

If you push/shove/barge a player when he’s in the air, you are responsible for the injury that follows. Leno had every right to have ago at Maupay and football needs to get its finger out of its arse and start dealing with this sort of thing properly.

In rugby, that sort of challenge is a red card. RUGBY!

No doubt, when the media speak to the Brighton player after the match he will say he had no intention of injuring Leno. I’ll bet everything I have no reporter will have the guts to ask him just what, exactly, he was trying to do?

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