Antonio Conte Hits Back At Mikel Arteta's Complaints About The Referee
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Mikel Arteta has been told to 'stop complaining' by Antonio Conte, after the Arsenal boss wasn't happy with the decisions by Paul Tierney in the north London derby.
Arteta did his best impression of Jose Mourinho following Thursday night's loss to Tottenham Hotspur, when he claimed he would get a six month suspension for giving his opinion on the referee.
The Gunners were not best pleased with the official, after he awarded the hosts a controversial penalty and then soon after sent Rob Holding off for two yellow cards, all in the space of 11 minutes.
It didn't seem like there could be too many complaints about the red card and in the end Spurs were deserving winners, closing the gap to their rivals to just one point.
Arteta was clearly fuming with the decisions but he's been told by Conte that he needs to stop complaining and instead focus his attention elsewhere.
"Mikel Arteta is doing a really good job but I listened to him complain a lot," the Italian said after the match.
"I think he has to be focused more on his team and not complaining.
"The red card for me was clear. If we want to complain we could do it every game.
"This is my advice. If he wants to take my advice it's up to him. I don't care. In six months I have listened to him complaining a lot. It's not good."
As well as local bragging rights and the need to stay in the hunt for the top four, the home team were also motivated by a sort of revenge mission.
The game was originally supposed to be played in January but Arsenal managed to get the match postponed for Covid reasons, despite only having one positive case.
Asked after about times Arteta has complained, Conte brought up the postponement and his own current issues with fixtures, saying, "They had the game postponed because of Covid and they only had one player with Covid.
"I haven't forgotten that. I could complain about playing our next game at 12 o'clock on Sunday when Arsenal play on Monday night. They have more rest."
It was Spurs who had the last laugh when it came to the postponement in the end anyway, as Son Heung-min wouldn't have been available for the game had it been played four months ago.
On Thursday night the South Korean won the penalty for the opening goal, took the corner that led to the second, scored the third and was the man fouled for both of Holding's yellow cards.
There's now just one point between the two sides, as they battle for the fourth and final Champions League spot, and Conte's side could go ahead in the race before Arteta's team play their next game.