Arsenal star Matteo Guendouzi escapes ban despite grabbing Neal Maupay’s neck

Arsenal star Matteo Guendouzi escapes ban despite grabbing Neal Maupay's neck
The young French midfielder clashed repeatedly with his compatriot (Picture: Sky Sports)

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi will face no punishment despite grabbing Brighton’s Neal Maupay around the throat after Saturday’s heated clash at the Amex Stadium.

The two Frenchmen tussled verbally and then physically during Brighton’s 2-1 victory, with Guendouzi angry over his compatriot’s involvement in the injury sustained by Bernd Leno in the first half.

Maupay jumped into Leno as he claimed the ball, with the German landing awkwardly and having to be stretchered off with what appears to be a serious ACL injury.

Maupay enraged Arsenal’s players when his barge on Leno resulted in an injury (Picture: Getty)

Guendouzi did not let the issue lie and then clashed with Maupay when the striker scored Brighton’s late winner deep into injury time.

First there was a coming together off the ball, with Guendouzi putting out his arm and lightly catching Maupay, who made the most of the contact and went down in a heap.

Then when the full-time whistle was blown, Guendouzi made a beeline for the former Brentford forward and grabbed him by the throat, sparking something of a melee as players from both sides argued with each other.

Guendouzi was led away down the tunnel by assistant coach Steve Round and was widely expected to be given a three-game ban for his actions.

However, the Football Association say the incident was seen and reviewed by the VAR at the time, with Michael Oliver in the hotseat at Stockley Park for the game, who felt no further action was required.

Arsenal's Matteo Guendouzi, 2nd right, gestures at Brighton's Neal Maupay, on the ground, during an argument at the end of during the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton, England, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (Richard Heathcote/Pool via AP)
Referee Martin Atkinson missed the flash points between Maupay and Guendouzi (Picture: Getty)

A statement from the FA confirmed: ‘Matteo Guendouzi’s conduct during this incident was not seen by the match officials at the time, but it was subsequently reviewed by the VAR, so he will face no further action.’

It added: ‘Brighton and Arsenal have been warned and reminded of their responsibilities following a mass confrontation between their players at the end of the Premier League fixture on Saturday.’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is already light on options in midfield after Granit Xhaka sustained an injury against Manchester City and will have been fretting over Guendouzi’s availability, though the young Frenchman is free to play against Southampton on Thursday evening.

Maupay had stoked the animosity further in his post-match interviewing, saying Arsenal’s players – and the talkative Guendouzi in particular – lacked ‘humility’.

MORE: ‘We need to be showing that fight!’ – Arsenal legend Ian Wright defends Matteo Guendouzi over Neal Maupay clash

MORE: Neal Maupay reveals what he told Matteo Guendouzi to anger the Arsenal midfielder after the Brighton defeat

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