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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta appears to mock referee Simon Hooper with hand gesture

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta appears to mock referee Simon Hooper with hand gesture

The bizarre incident happened in the final minutes of Arsenal's dramatic 4-2 win against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta appeared to mock referee Simon Hooper in the final minutes of their 4-2 win against Aston Villa.

The Gunners netted twice late on to go two points clear at the Premier League summit, but it was a far from straightforward victory for the title contenders, who went behind twice in the first-half after goals from Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho.

Despite a lacklustre opening half, Arsenal showed a real fighting spirit in the second.

Oleksandr Zinchenko equalised for Arteta's men on the hour mark – his first goal in England's top flight – before late goals from Emiliano Martinez [OG] and Gabriel Martinelli sealed a crucial three points for the North London side.


Before those two goals in stoppage time, Arteta cut a frustrated figure on the Villa Park touchline.

In fact, the Spaniard was so aggravated at one stage that he was caught mimicking referee Simon Hooper for ordering a free-kick to be retaken because of a moving ball.

As you can see from the footage below, the camera panned over to an animated Arteta, who produced a hand gesture of his own after Hooper's on-field decision.

Here's how fans reacted to the incident on social media.

One commented: "I remember when sarcastically clapping a referee got you booked? Why does Mikel Arteta get away with it?" while another said: "Someone please clip Mikel Arteta mimicking the referee and share it here. That was too funny."

A third said: "I laughed way too hard at this one. Arteta walking a thin line that game but he's always out there taking the heat off the players. Love the guy."

After the full-time whistle, Arteta praised the character and resilience of his Arsenal players.

Speaking to BT Sport, he said: “We have to take some lessons from today – in the first half we didn’t do the simple things right.

"We gave them a chance to score two goals in a simple way. They had two shots and they scored two goals. Credit to them for that.

“In the second half we created chance after chance. We needed a magic moment and Jorginho produced it. He has many qualities but that probably isn’t his biggest strength.

“After what happened a few days ago, we’re so pleased to win the game. If you want to be at the top you have to win games in many different ways.

“It was absolutely bouncing [in the dressing room], it was a big effort to play less than 72 hours after the result we had. I’m really pleased with the boys.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Premier League

Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Premier League, Aston Villa