Mikel Arteta hopes to avoid further beef with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield

Mikel Arteta hopes to avoid a repeat of his touchline clash with Jurgen Klopp when Arsenal travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool and admits he doesn’t enjoy re-watching his tantrums

  • Arteta was booked after an explosive outburst during their last game at Anfield
  • His actions were intended to defend his players ‘in the best possible way’
  • Arsenal have not won away to Liverpool in the Premier League in over a decade  

Mikel Arteta says he hopes to avoid more beef with Jurgen Klopp after rowing with the Liverpool boss in Arsenal’s chastening trip to Anfield last season. 

The score was goalless when Arteta and Klopp had to be separated in 2021 following a clash between Sadio Mane and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

That spat roused the Liverpool crowd and soon Klopp’s side were on their way to a 4-0 victory.

Arteta addressed the incident ahead of Sunday’s pivotal trip to Merseyside, their first Premier League visit since. 

‘I reacted to defend our players the best possible way but I don’t like seeing myself like this so hopefully not (again),’ he said.

Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp had to be separated the last time Arsenal travelled to Anfield 

The coming together between the two managers required intervention from other coaches

The Spaniard was cautioned for his outburst and confrontation of his German counterpart

‘It happens in football and after that we hugged each other and moved on. The last time we were together nothing happened.

‘I have full respect and admiration for what they’ve done. We’ve moved on.’

Arteta nevertheless stressed the importance of his side keeping their cool on Sunday.

He said: ‘We know what we have to do. We’ve played in the toughest places. We went to White Hart Lane and did what the team did, the atmosphere doesn’t get much tougher than that.’

Arsenal have not won at Anfield in the Premier League in more than a decade. But victory would take them another huge step closer to the Premier League title.

Many within Arsenal’s squad are experiencing a title race for the first time but Arteta insisted: ‘We do enjoy it. We have to enjoy it and we really need to embrace the moment and go for it.

‘The team is full of enthusiasm and positivity. We know that we have a big challenge but it is a big opportunity to go to Anfield and do something we haven’t done in many years and that is what is driving the team the last few days.’

He added: ‘We are capable of doing it. We know we are going to have to be at our very best to win the game and certainly better than we were there last year when we just opened up and allowed Liverpool to attack open spaces in a really comfortable way.’

Bukayo Saka will return after illness meant he started on the bench against Leeds last week.

Arteta hinted another injured player might return but would not confirm whether it was Eddie Nketiah or William Saliba.

Bukayo Saka is expected to return to the starting line-up after missing out against Leeds

The 21-year-old has registered 12 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League so far this season

Liverpool have a formidable home record this season but Klopp’s side sit eighth, 29 points off the league leaders.

‘It shows the difficulty in being at the top and transforming a football club – their identity, their beliefs and the competitive capacity for the last six or seven years,’ Arteta said.

‘It shows how difficult it is to sustain that. We all have difficult moments but what they have done at their club is something remarkable.’

He added: ‘They are a great team managed by a top manager and they create an incredible atmosphere that makes it very difficult for any opponent.’

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