Mikel Arteta of Arsenal plays down the touchline fight between him and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

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The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta has played down the pitchside feud he had with the coach of Liverpool Jurgen Klopp during a Premier League game.

On Saturday, November 20, Arsenal were at the Anfield stadium to take on Klopp’s Liverpool in a very crucial Premier League game. Mikel Arteta and his players visited the stadium after enjoying an unprecedented 8 game unbeaten run.

They needed to beat Liverpool to replace them on the fourth spot with a point difference.

As expected, Arsenal did not make the game easy for Liverpool especially in the first half. However, Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead in the 39th minute of the game.

Before the goal, Mane and Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu were involved in a challenge that the Arsenal bench led by Mikel Arteta felt should be a punishable challenge. The entire Arsenal bench agitated against the challenge but referee Michael Oliver did not yield to the agitation.

Hence, Mikel Arteta and Klopp were left to contest against each other on the touchline. The shouts from the two coaches forced the referee to show both coaches a yellow card.

The incident fired up the Anfield stadium and drew more shouts of support from Liverpool’s fans on the stands.

From that moment, the game turned around for Liverpool starting with Mane’s opener in the first half followed by second-half goals from Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah, and substitute Takumi Minamino.

After the 4-0 defeat, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said whatever happened between him and coach Klopp on the touchline stayed on the pitch. He also revealed that he has congratulated Klopp for the win after the game.

Arteta said: “He [Klopp] was defending his team, I was defending my team, that’s it. It doesn’t matter.

“Yes, I did [speak to Klopp after the match] and I congratulated him. These moments are left on the pitch.”

On the outcome of the game, Arteta added: “I think the first half was very competitive. We both had moments and we competed well.

“At 1-0 down we go to half-time, it is the moment we have to be patient, but we were completely the opposite. We completely crashed. That’s why we lose the game – the rest is a consequence of the frustration of having to chase the game.

“We know they will punish you. They can press, they are one of the best at it. Mistakes are a part of football. They have been the best team in Europe because they can dominate in every aspect. They were better than us today.”

Jurgen Klopp explains his issue with Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp yelling at each other.
Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp yelling at each other.

After the 4-0 victory over Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp took his time to explain what transpired between him and Mikel Arteta’s led bench.

The German tactician said when the bench was agitating for the referee to book Mane over the challenge involving him and Tomiyasu, he asked Arteta and his team what they wanted from the referee.

Klopp insisted that what happened between Mane and Tomiyasu was not a foul and did not deserve the kind of attention Arsenal’s bench directed to it.

“It was a completely clean situation, nothing happened, two players jumped in the air and didn’t touch each other, really, at least not like a foul,” Klopp said.

“The bench of Arsenal went up and I asked: ‘What do you want from that?’. There was no contact really, but it looked like everybody wanted a red card.

“The referee did situation – I deserved a yellow card. It wasn’t OK and that is what I said. It just happened at the moment.”

The 4-0 win over Arsenal has pushed Liverpool to the second spot on the league table with 25 points in 12 games, four points below first placed Chelsea. Liverpool could move down to the 3rd spot if 3rd placed Manchester City win their game tonight.

As for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta and his boys remain rooted on the 5th spot with 20 points in 12 games, three points below the fourth spot.