Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has responded to criticism from Watford manager Claudio Ranieri following the Gunners’ 1-0 win over the Hornets on Sunday.
Arteta’s side dominated the match, missing a penalty and having two goals disallowed for offside.
However, the winning goal from Emile Smith Rowe left Ranieri and his players fuming at the full-time whistle.
The Italian manager confronted Arteta at the end of the match, claiming the Arsenal players were unsportsmanlike in the build-up to the goal.
Danny Rose had kicked the ball out of play for a throw-in for his team-mate to receive treatment. Arsenal played on, however, and scored from the subsequent throw-in.
After the defeat, Ranieri said: “We put out the ball and everybody expected Arsenal to give back the ball.
“(Moussa) Sissoko and Rose said, ‘give the ball to us, we put the ball out, there was an injured player’. After this it was very strange.
“There was a cross, Kiko Femenia hit the ball with the header, [Ismaila] Sarr took the ball, in my opinion there’s a big foul, but nothing happened and then they score the goal. It was very, very strange.
“Our relationship is very good, I told (Arteta) there isn’t respect when we put the ball out. I said there isn’t respect in this action.”
Arteta responded to the aggrieved Italian, claiming his players didn’t intend to take advantage of the situation.
“I have to defend my players, my team and my club,” said the Arsenal boss.
“I would say we are the most honest [of] all of them, and at some stages we can even become naïve.
“But still, if he feels like that towards our club, I have to apologise if that’s the case. But for sure there was not any intention to take advantage.”
Elsewhere, Frank Lampard is leading the race to become the new Norwich City manager after holding talks with the Premier League club, according to reports.
Daniel Farke was axed as head coach just hours after overseeing the Canaries’ first Premier League victory of the season at Brentford.
And Football Insider have claimed that they could turn to former Chelsea boss Lampard, who has been out of work since being sacked by the west London club last season.
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