‘He was defending his team, I was defending mine!’: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta plays down furious touchline clash with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield… as his side went on to suffer heavy defeat
- Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp were involved in a bust-up during the first-half
- Arteta lost his temper as Takehiro Tomiyasu went down during an aerial battle
- The Arsenal boss has played down the spat, claiming he was defending his team
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has played down his clash with Jurgen Klopp, claiming ‘nothing’ prompted it and that they were both just ‘defending’ their team.
The pair came face-to-face on the touchline in the 32nd minute after an aerial battle between Sadio Mane and Takehiro Tomiyasu left the latter on the deck.
Arteta completely lost his temper and had to, at one point, be physically restrained by his assistant as he threatened to enter Klopp’s technical area. Both managers were eventually booked by referee Michael Oliver.
Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp went head-to-head on the touchline during their side’s clash
Once things cooled down, Arteta (right) and Klopp (left) were both booked by the referee
When asked what prompted his reaction, Arteta told Sky Sports: ‘Nothing. He (Klopp) was defending his team, I was defending my team. I congratulated him for the game.
‘For me, all these incidents they stay there, they’re part of the hit and the way we would like to compete.’
On the other hand, the Reds boss went into more detail as he said: ‘We had to take Sadio (Mane) off against Atletico Madrid because Atletico only went for that, to get him a yellow card and I have to take him off and all this kind of thing and it’s just not okay.
‘I have to say the ref did really well in that situation, I know I deserved a yellow card it’s no problem. If there’s a harsh challenge, we are all like this, but it was nothing.
It was Klopp who was the happier of the two managers after his side took all three points
‘He didn’t even touch him. It was just two players going in the air and then they jump and that was not okay and that’s what I said.’
Goals from Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino inflicted defeat on the Gunners as their 10-match unbeaten run was brought to an end.
But the Gunners stay fifth after Manchester United lost 4-1 to Watford and they will take-on Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium next weekend.