After Tottenham trounced Arsenal 3-0 in a contentious North London derby on Thursday night, Antonio Conte instructed Mikel Arteta to stop moaning. Spurs won in front of their home fans with two goals from Harry Kane in the first half and one from Heung Min Son after the interval, moving them to within a point of Arsenal in the race for the fourth Champions League position with two games remaining.
The penalty granted by referee Paul Tierney for a shove by Cedric Soares on Son for the opener, and then a second yellow card for Arsenal defender Rob Holding after he appeared to thrust his elbow in the face of Son, were the night’s talking points. Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, was so incensed by both occurrences that he refused to speak about them thereafter.
‘I can’t do that because I want to be on the touchline against Newcastle on Monday,’ Arteta stated. I can’t lie, and speaking about it will result in my suspension, so I’d rather not. ‘A lovely game has been ruined.
Conte was quick to respond. The Italian remarked that Mikel Arteta was doing a fantastic job, but I’ve heard him whine a lot. I believe he should be more focused on his team rather than moaning.
For me, the red card seemed obvious. We could complain at every game if we wanted to. This is my recommendation. It’s up to him if he wants to follow my counsel. I’m not bothered. I’ve spent the last six months listening to him whine a lot. ‘This isn’t good.’
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This match had been postponed at Arsenal’s request earlier this year. Conte has always been dissatisfied with this. He continued, “They had the game postponed because of COVID, and they only had one player with COVID.” That is something I haven’t forgotten. I could whine about our next game is at 12 a.m. on Sunday, when Arsenal is playing on Monday night.
Kane put Spurs ahead after a penalty was awarded in the 22nd minute, and he scored again seven minutes later. Holding had already been warned, and a long-running battle with Son had reached a climax when he appeared to push his elbow out to obstruct a Son run onto a long ball. Son later explained, ‘I pushed my elbow out to obstruct a Son run on to a long ball.’ was running into space, but he just blocked the run.’
It’s a perilous task even if the ball doesn’t come. We have VAR, so if there was no yellow card, VAR would most likely investigate. It was a clear foul and a definite yellow card in my opinion.
Spurs’ victory means Arsenal must beat Newcastle on Monday and then Everton at home the following week to secure a top-four position. Tottenham will host Burnley on Sunday before traveling to Norwich on the last day of the season.