Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor accuses Arsenal rival Jonas Eidevall of ‘bullying’ the officials
Things are getting heated...
The Gunners ended City’s unbeaten start to the WSL season after a 2-1 victory at Meadow Park, with substitute Stina Blackstenius capitalising on a mistake from teenage goalkeeper Khiara Keating to net a late winner.
Taylor was involved in several heated exchanges with Eidevall on the touchline during the contest and afterwards claimed he felt he had to ‘protect’ fourth official Melissa Burgin because of the Arsenal manager’s behaviour.
‘That is always the same with him because he is constantly at the fourth official and I think it is bullying,’ Taylor told BBC Sport.
‘I am protecting the fourth official but that’s not my job.’
Eidevall had already fulfilled his post-match media duties by the time Taylor had made his remark and was not able to respond, though Arsenal are described as ‘disappointed’ by the comments.
The Swedish coach was not booked or spoken to by the referee during the match, and Arsenal felt the game had been hard-fought and played in the right competitive spirit.
Taylor’s accusations come hot on the heels of Mikel Arteta’s incredible rant at the officials and PGMOL after a controversial Newcastle goal was allowed to stand in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park on Saturday.
There appeared to be three potential infringements before Anthony Gordon’s second-half goal, though the VAR were unable to definitively check two of them.
The ball came very close to crossing the byline when Joe Willock kept it in play before crossing, though there was no camera angle to prove it either way, while the VAR was unable to establish a point of contact in order to draw offside lines to check if Gordon was behind the ball.
There was also a potential foul on Gabriel Magalhaes from Joelinton, while Arsenal were unhappy that Bruno Guimaraes was not sent off.
Arteta was livid afterwards, describing the performance of the officials and VAR as ‘embarrassing’ and a ‘disgrace’, with Arsenal rather unusually releasing a statement on Sunday backing up their manager’s comments.
The statement read: ‘Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta’s post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening.
‘The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, all of whom deserve better. PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies.
‘We support the ongoing efforts of Chief Refereeing Officer, Howard Webb and would welcome working together to achieve the world-class officiating standards our league demands.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.