Watford manager Claudio Ranieri has accused Arsenal of showing 'no respect' after the Gunners refused to give the ball back in the build-up to their goal. The Italian manager was visibly angry at the full-time whistle and had a go at Mikel Arteta on the touchline.
Watford put the ball out for an injury, but Arsenal refused to hand the ball back and eventually scored seconds later. The lone goal saw the Gunners snatch all three points, leaving Watford just two points above the relegation zone.
While speaking to the media after the loss at the Emirates, Claudio Ranieri was furious with the decision made by the Arsenal players. He claimed they showed 'no respect' to Watford and scored a goal when they were supposed to return the ball. He said:
"We put out the ball and everybody expected Arsenal to give back the ball. 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, 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 [Ranieri and Arteta] is very good, I told him there isn't respect when we put the ball out. I said there isn't respect in this action, just this."
Mikel Arteta defends his Arsenal players
Mikel Arteta was not happy with the comments made by Ranieri but apologized to the Watford manager. He claimed his players were all honest, and it was a naive move by them during the game.
"I have to defend my players, my team and my club. We are the most honest of all of them. Even at some stages we are naive. If he felt like that, I apologise, but there was no intention."
Arsenal are now on a stunning run and have moved up to 5th in the table – 2 points behind 4th placed Liverpool and three points clear of Manchester United in 6th. They face Liverpool after the international break before hosting Newcastle United a week later.