- Antonio Conte was not impressed with Arteta’s criticism of referees after the North London derby on Thursday, May 12
- Arsenal played a large chunk of the game with 10 men after the dismissal of Rob Holding
- Arteta challenged the ref to come in front of cameras to explain his decisions, but Conte feels the Spaniard should focus on his team
Antonio Conte had some interesting words of advice for Mikel Arteta after the Arsenal boss subtly lamented on poor refereeing in the wake of the North London derby defeat to Tottenham.
Tottenham were comfortable 3-0 winners on the night as they overcame Arsenal fairly easily, but the game was tipped in the home team’s favor when Arsenal went down to 10 men in the first half.
Rob Holding was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Heung Min Son with the scores 1-0.
Harry Kane, after giving his side the lead from the penalty spot, then grabbed a second with a header in the far post after Rodrigo Bentancur flicked on a corner.
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Son wrapped up the victory in the second half as he fired in his 21st league goal of the season from 10 yards, with Arsenal pretty much second best since the dismissal of Holding.
“If I say what I think I’m suspended for six months”
After the game, a seething Arteta could not help but aim a subtle dig at the referee for his decision making in the game.
“If I say what I think I am suspended for six months. I don’t know how to lie so I prefer not to say what I think. I cannot say what I think,” Arteta said.
“I want the referee to come in front of the camera and explain his decisions. It’s a shame because such a beautiful game was destroyed today.”
Conte was asked to comment on Arteta’s sentiments, and the Italian did not pull any punches as he accused his opposite number of complaining too much.
"He complains a lot," Conte said as quoted by BBC as he went on to cite Arsenal’s request to have the North London derby postponed back in December 2021.
“He has to continue to work because he's a very good [coach]. To hear someone complain all the time is not so good.”
"At Liverpool [on Saturday] do you hear me complain about Fabinho and all the fouls? No. He can take my advice if he wants, but if not I don't care.
Spurs are now just a point behind fourth place Arsenal with two games of the season to go.
The Gunners would have cemented their place in fourth with a win, but as it stands, either of the two North London teams can clinch it.
Son on being substituted
Elsewhere, Sports Brief reported of Heung Min Son’s angry reaction to being substituted during the North London derby with 20 minutes to go.
The South Korean is chasing Mohammed Salah for the golden boot and despite bagging a goal against Arsenal, he was determined to get another to go level with his Egyptian rival.
Conte instead substituted him with a quarter or the game to go, but Son said after the match that he respected the gaffer’s decisions.