LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta defended his side who were criticized by Claudio Ranieri during the 1-0 win over Watford at the Emirates.
The Gunners picked up three points from Emile Smith Rowe’s single goal in the second half that sparked controversy.
The Hornets players were unhappy that Arsenal did not give the ball back to them after it was removed by the visitors due to Ozan Tufan’s injury.
Watford manager Ranieri feels the Arsenal players are not being fair for taking advantage of the situation.
“We took the ball out and everyone expected the Arsenal players to give it back. (Moussa) Sissoko and (Danny) Rose said ‘give the ball to us, we took it out because there were injured players’.
“Then they scored. It was really weird, really weird,” said Ranieri, who once managed Leicester and Chelsea.
In a post-match press conference, Arteta defended his players by saying they had no intention of ignoring fair play.
“If he feels that way, I apologize. But there is definitely no intention to take advantage,” Arteta said.