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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 22 October, 2018

Wenger urges City and United to behave more like respectful sumo wrestlers

Arsene Wenger believes Premier League teams could learn some decorum from sumo wrestling after the heated aftermath to the Manchester derby.

Sumo wrestling
Sumo wrestling

MANCHESTER UNITED AND Manchester City could learn a thing or two from sumo wrestlers after Sunday’s derby clash at Old Trafford reportedly descended into a post-march fracas, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Players from both clubs are said to have been involved in an alleged incident outside the away dressing room after goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi gave City a 2-1 win – extending their lead at the top of the table over United to 11 points with a record 14th consecutive Premier League victory.

Among multiple accounts of the flashpoint are reports of United boss Jose Mourinho having a carton of milk thrown in his direction and visiting assistant coach Mikel Arteta suffering a cut head.

Arteta was Wenger’s club captain at Arsenal before taking up a role on Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff last year and the 68-year-old Frenchman’s views on the incident were keenly sought at a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to West Ham.

Wenger’s Arsenal were involved in a well-documented post-match clash in the Old Trafford tunnel back in 2004, when Alex Ferguson was infamously hit by pizza thrown by then-Gunners midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

“I heard about that but I have not seen anything. They are part of the incidents that can happen in big derbies,” he said.

“In the press, you build these things up like it is life or death and then something happens after and you are surprised.

“That’s part of the intensity of the importance of the game. Sometimes it can go a bit overboard.

“It happened to us, it happened to them [United]. It’s unfortunate. Ideally you would commit 100 per cent, 200 per cent on the pitch and be an angel after. You want the passion to be on the football pitch.”

The weekend confrontation supposedly began when Mourinho approached the City dressing room to complain about what he perceived to be over-the-top celebrations.

Wenger conceded such instances can be hard to endure and drew an unusual contrast he experienced while managing Japanese club Grampus Eight between 1995 and 1996

He said: “It is difficult to take when you lose a big game to see the 100 per cent celebration of the other side. It is almost like an offensive experience.

“That’s why when I was in Japan I liked sumo. In sumo, you can never tell the guy who wins. He doesn’t show his happiness out of respect to his opponent. That shows how deep the culture of respect for each other is there.

“Is it something we can repeat here? I don’t know because it is not part of our culture.”

On Monday, the Football Association asked City and United for their observations of the incident. Referee Michael Oliver did not witness it and, therefore, did not include it in his report of the match.

Mourinho and Guardiola are set to address the media later on Tuesday ahead of their teams’ respective games against Bournemouth and Swansea City.

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