Footage has revealed how Ben White ignited the post-match boom between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad by facing England team-mate Phil Foden during game time.
Manchester City battered Arsenal 4-1 on Wednesday night to two points away from the top of the league – and currently have the edge in the Premier League title race with two games in hand.
Kevin de Bruyne scored City’s opening goal in the seventh minute before setting up a header for John Stones just before the break, giving the defending champions a 2-0 lead at half-time.
City’s dominance continued into the second half as De Bruyne chilled to the back of Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for the second time, and Erling Haaland then scored his 33rd goal of the season with a near-final kick. of the game after Rob Holding’s consolation goal for the Gunners earlier. time.
As Pep Guardiola’s men continued to bury their heads in struggling title challengers, tempers began to flare on the pitch as Jack Grealish and Thomas Partey were booked mid-second half for scuffles during a brawl. small island.
City and Arsenal then reached a boiling point the whole time, when at least dozens of players jostled each other in a post-match skirmish on the pitch.
New footage from the stands shows White, who has been a regular at right-back for Arsenal this campaign, approaching Foden as the final whistle sounded as the City winger was shaking hands with the bridge. the Gunners reserve, Leandro Trossard.
Seemingly wanting to say something to his England team-mate, White prompted a backlash from Foden when the pair went head-to-head on the Etihad stage.
The Manchester City star then angrily pushed White before walking away, as Bernardo Silva and Emile Smith-Rowe rushed to the scene to resolve the issue.
Eager to not let White escape lightly after his clash with their team-mates, Rodri, Haaland and Kyle Walker took on the Gunners defender, prompting many Arsenal and City stars to join their support.
White mysteriously withdrew from England’s World Cup squad last November, leaving the team’s training camp in Al Wakrah midway through the tournament in Qatar.
England manager Gareth Southgate later denied reports that White’s departure was due to a conflict with assistant coach Steve Holland, and it was unclear if the defender would leave camp due to a conflict. with his England teammates or not.
The incident at the Etihad showcased the passion and emotion both sides are feeling after the stunning treble, a match Pep Guardiola called this season’s ‘Premier League final’ before the game even kicked off.
After giving up his advantage in the title race, Mikel Arteta admitted after the game that Arsenal must win every remaining game to have a chance to snatch the trophy away from City.
Asked if Arsenal, four games without a win, now needed five wins in a row, Arteta said: “I think so.
‘The analysis was clear: the better team won the game.
‘The city is probably the best of them. The distance becomes too great. The basic things you have to do against a great team, we didn’t do it and we were punished.
‘The stats at the start of the season said we would finish in sixth or seventh. There are still five games to play.
‘I’ve seen a lot of things in this country and I know how things change.
‘We are also a special team but today we are not in the races. It’s too easy.’
Meanwhile, Guardiola has downplayed City’s advantage in the title race, insisting that his side are still two points behind the leaders.
“The next three games are really important,” said Guardiola. ‘Fulham on Sunday followed by two home games. These three games will decide if we do what we have to do.
‘The reality today, and as naive as it may sound, is that we are still two points behind. We have been fortunate to be a team the way Liverpool promoted in previous seasons, and this season Arsenal.
‘People say [I am] pretending to be modest but the incredible quality of the players I have on hand depends on their work ethic, pushing them to their limits, and the rest on their quality.’
City’s first game is against West Ham at the Etihad next Wednesday, while Arsenal take on Chelsea in their next Premier League clash on May 2.