Arsenal

The truth over Sergio Conceicao comments as Mikel Arteta celebrates Arsenal victory

The Gunners boss was accused of some unsavoury behaviour after the full time whistle in Tuesday night’s Champions League victory over Porto, but club sources have strongly denied this

Club sources have strongly denied that Mikel Arteta insulted Sergio Conceicao’s family in the aftermath of Arsenal’s Champions League round of 16 second leg victory over Porto.

The Gunners were able to overturn the first leg deficit courtesy of Leandro Trossard’s first half goal. However, it took penalties for them eventually see off their Portuguese opponents.

The contest between the two sides was dogged by a tetchy atmosphere, with 74 fouls being committed across the course of the two games. Conceicao himself was heavily involved in this. After his side’s 1-0 win in the first leg at Estadio do Dragao, the Portuguese manager claimed that “they wanted to play, we wanted to win”. This prickly attitude continued into the second leg as the 49-year-old was involved in a touchline altercation with Kai Havertz.

Even after Arsenal had claimed victory in a penalty shootout courtesy of two David Raya saves, the bad blood between the two sides continued, with Conceicao and Arteta exchanging heated words after the full time whistle. Arteta initially declined to comment on this in his post-match press conference, but Conceicao later when on to claim that the Arsenal manager’s comments in the altercation had related to his family.

During the game and towards the bench he, in Spanish, I don’t know if this is to do with Spanish managers, he insulted my family,” the Porto manager said. “And then at the end, I said attention, who he insults is not between us, he should focus on training his team because they have a lot of individual qualities to do that.”

Club sources have now strongly denied that Arteta did say this however. This is not the first time that Conceicao has been critical of the Spaniard’s behaviour.

While Arteta was assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Conceicao accused the City coaching staff of poor behaviour as they claimed a group stage victory. “I’ve got a lot to learn from Pep Guardiola, in the way he pressures referees, talks to opposition players and the opposition dugout,” the Porto coach said in 2020. “He’s a fantastic example. I have to learn this. We were angels compared to the other dugout.

“He spoke about our country using ugly words. Guardiola’s attitude was extremely unpleasant. The whole Manchester City dugout was because if anybody should have been complaining, it was the Porto bench, because we were extremely hard done by.

“I have to apologise to the referees in Portugal, because I complain when I think we are wronged, but comparing the officials of this game and those upstairs in the VAR, international referees have a lot to learn from ours in Portugal. The refereeing had a big bearing on the outcome of this match. [Augustin] Marchesín has his leg in a bad state right now because he was fouled before the penalty award.”

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