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Pep Guardiola's cryptic explanation of Walker & Haaland bust-up

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola refused to go into detail over a post-match scuffle involving Kyle Walker, Erling Haaland and a member of Arsenal’s coaching staff.

Arsenal won the match to inflict a second successive defeat on the reigning champions, as well as recording their first league victory in the fixture since 2015 after 15 games without a win.

City midfielder Mateo Kovacic controversially avoided a red card following late tackles on both Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice. City had the better chances overall, while tempers were frayed when the returning Gabriel Martinelli won it for Arsenal in the 86th minute.

As both sets of players were heading for the tunnel at full-time, Walker turned to confront Arsenal set-piece coach Nicolas Jover, who like Arteta was formerly on Guardiola’s City staff. The City skipper was joined by Haaland, before players from both sides intervened and separated them, with Jover pulled away by Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka, who had sat out the game through injury.

“I know what happened but I won’t say anything. [Arsenal] know it [too],” Guardiola said afterwards, giving nothing away but appearing to point the finger of blame towards the Gunners.

The victory moved Arsenal level on points with Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table, with the latter holding a slender advantage by virtue of scoring two goals more. City are two points behind in third place – remarkably, this is the first time Guardiola’s team have suffered back-to-back league defeats since December 2018 when they were surprisingly beaten by Crystal Palace and Leicester over the course of just a few days either side of Christmas.