Neal Maupay is certainly not the most popular of figures among Arsenal fans.
In past battles against the Gunners, the French striker has got the better of the north London club on more than one occasion. From scoring winners at the Emirates to inadvertently injuring Bernd Leno, Maupay has been a thorn in Arsenal’s side on numerous occasions.
So when Mikel Arteta’s side were 1-0 at Goodison Park earlier today and saw it was Neal Maupay coming off the bench, they were likely having nightmares of ‘here we go again’.
Shortly after he replaced Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Maupay was incredibly lucky not to give away a penalty for a challenge on Gabriel Magalhaes. VAR reviewed the incident, but decided not to go against the decision made by the referee.
— Renato (@rehnato) February 4, 2023
Sadly for Arsenal supporters, that was only the beginning of Maupay’s antics.
During the final minute of the game, when Arsenal were running out of time, Maupay decided to take an opportunity to wind up Oleksandr Zinchenko and let’s just say he succeeded.
The two players got into a bit of a tussle off the ball and that saw tensions reach boiling point. After he’d been brought down by Maupay and saw his adversary sprawled out on the turf, Zinchenko reacted with pure fury. Things nearly kicked off between the two sets of players, but the situation eventually calmed down.
Video: The moment Oleksandr Zinchenko & Neal Maupay went head-to-head…
Zinchenko vs Maupay.pic.twitter.com/FhEgqRYMIC
— 𝖥𝖺𝗌𝗍 𝖦𝗈𝖺𝗅𝗌 ⚽📊 (@i6astv) February 4, 2023
Every game means so much for Arsenal when you’re fighting for your first league title in 19 years, so its no surprise their emotions got the better of them towards the end of the game. There’s so much on the line & games in the Premier League are separated by such fine margins nowadays, however if Arsenal do want to finish at the top come May, they’ll need to control their emotions better when games aren’t going their way.
As Per journalist Sam Dean, Arteta had to intervene after the full-time whistle to stop Zinchenko getting involved in another skirmish.
Arteta dragging Zinchenko off the pitch after the final whistle. The Arsenal left-back had a few things he wanted to say to some Everton players.
— Sam Dean (@SamJDean) February 4, 2023
The match between the top two at the Emirates on February 15th just got even more tense for both sets of supporters, with Manchester City on the chase.