Former England and Tottenham striker Darren Bent has admitted that he understood people’s irritation with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s celebrations during their 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday evening.
Arteta sprinted across the touchline near the fans after the Emirates outfit scored their third goal in injury time. His reactions may seem just, given the importance of the clash in the title race. After the win, Arsenal are just two points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Admitting that he would probably be annoyed with Arteta if he wasn’t an Arsenal supporter, Bent told talkSPORT (via The Boot Room):
“I do think a lot of neutrals don’t like Arteta which makes them not like the Gunners. And I get it. If he wasn’t Arsenal’s manager, it would probably annoy me when he’s running up and down the technical box, not staying in the box.”
“You know when they scored the second, he turned around and ran. I love all that,” he added.
The game started with Arteta’s side scoring early through Bukayo Saka (14′), only to see that strike canceled out by a Gabriel own goal before the break (45+3′).
However, Gabriel Martinelli restored the Gunners’ lead (67′) following a calamitous misunderstanding between Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson. Leandro Trossard then scored the game’s final goal in injury time (90+2′) to secure the points.
Arsenal travel to West Ham on Sunday, February 11. While Liverpool are home to Burnley the previous day.
Meanwhile, Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard was also called out for excessively celebrating his side’s win over Liverpool.
After the Norway international took over the camera and asked for the club’s cameraman to pose in front of the Emirates crowd, Reds legend Jamie Carragher said (via BBC Sport):
“Just get down the tunnel. You’ve won a game, three points, you’ve been brilliant Back in the title race, get down the tunnel. I’m serious, honestly.”
After these comments, Odegaard has come out to defend his team’s actions. The midfielder, who has bagged four goals and as many assists in the Premier League this season, said:
“If you’re not allowed to celebrate when you win a game, when are you allowed to celebrate? We’re happy with the win and we’ll stay humble. I think everyone who loves football, who understands football, they know how much it means to win this game.”
The Gunners also have Manchester City to deal with in the title race. The defending champions are level on points with Mikel Arteta’s side but have a game in hand.