Arteta down plays Saliba-Gabriel on field bust-up

Football Arteta down plays Saliba-Gabriel on field bust-up

Kiplagat Sang • 15:37 - 28.02.2023

The two players had a heated exchange during the 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has downplayed the incident between Gabriel Magalhães and William Saliba during their last Premier League clash against Leicester City.

The two Arsenal centre-backs were involved in an animated conversation at full-time in what was largely interpreted as a heated exchange. Saliba was captured pushing Gabriel in the chest after they had helped the Gunners win, keep a clean sheet, and maintain their title charge.

"They are a happy marriage, they love playing with each other. But they are very demanding with each other - which is good. They are very passionate. Everything is fine," the Spaniard said in his press conference ahead of their Premier League match against Everton on Wednesday.

Arteta further affirmed that he likes when his players challenge themselves.

"I don’t want robots, I want players with feeling, with passion, that they demand [more] from each other and that they have a chemistry, and those two [Gabriel and Saliba] certainly have that chemistry on and off the field. I love that even when winning, they want each other to do better," he added.

Arteta, whose side sits atop the league table with two points separating them from title rivals Manchester City, also spoke about their preparations against the Toffees and praised his Everton counterpart, Sean Dyche.

"Obviously, with Sean, it’s quite clear what he’s done and where the success they’ve had is coming from. Tomorrow, we’ll prepare the game in an appropriate and similar way [to the away match]. But with every manager, it’s the same.

We have to look at certain matches, what they do, and try to get the right tactics to beat them - and as well as the same mentality and expectation of what we demand in the game," added Arteta.

With their game in hand, the Gunners will look to extend the gap between them and the Citizens, who will return to Premier League action on Saturday with a match against Newcastle United.