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Maupay ‘naughty’ but not to blame for Leno injury – Crouch & Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch jumped to the defence of Brighton striker Neal Maupay after Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno suffered a worrying injury following a collision between the two.

The German keeper – who was stretched off after a lengthy period of treatment – was seen screaming in pain after landing awkwardly with a number of his team-mates visibly distressed.

Leno had both hands on the ball at the time of the collision and angrily pointed an accusatory finger in Maupay’s direction while departing the field of play.

And while BT Sport pundits Ferdinand and Crouch acknowledged Maupay’s challenge was “naughty”, they both insisted there was no intention or malice.

“You can’t blame Maupay for that,” Ferdinand said. “He would have felt worse in training, if not even in the warm-up.

“It’s a contact sport; it’s a foul but there’s nothing malicious and it’s not with excessive force.”

“It’s a very nasty injury and Leno will be distraught,” he added. “He’s been an ever-present for Arsenal. Maupay will sit there and think, ‘wow, maybe I didn’t need to go into that’.

“But this is a contact sport; people are going to try and jostle, people are going get an advantage.

“Yes, he got injured but he didn’t go in there with any intensions I don’t believe. If i’m a player for Brighton, I’m wanting my striker doing that.”

When asked whether the challenge was unnecessary, Crouch said: “Yeah, I think he’s left a bit on him there.

“I’ve been in that position myself when you’re a little bit frustrated, the ball’s got away from you and just leave a bit on the keeper.

“I think that’s what he’s done – he’s been a little bit naughty in my opinion. But he’s not meant to injury him or do him any harm. That’s just unfortunate.”

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