A viral video has backed up Pep Guardiola’s claim that Mikel Arteta never celebrated goals against Arsenal during his time at Manchester City.
The former Gunners skipper linked up with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium in 2016 to become his assistant after he hung up his boots at the Emirates.
Arteta worked under his Spanish compatriot for three years before returning to north London to succeed Unai Emery as Arsenal’s manager.
Ahead of the FA Cup clash meeting between the two teams on Friday night – live on talkSPORT – Guardiola revealed Arteta’s love for Arsenal never wavered.
Guardiola said: “I know he went to his club, the team he dreams of. He’s a supporter, he was a captain there. He loves the club.
“I remember here when we scored goals he jumped a lot except against one team.
“He was sitting there – it was Arsenal. I said, ‘That guy likes Arsenal’. Like here, if I’m training as assistant and Barcelona call me, I go.”
And now a video has been doing the rounds on social media showing Arteta’s muted reaction when Raheem Sterling scored against Arsenal in December 2016.
— َ (@zak_afc) January 26, 2023
Theo Walcott had broken the deadlock in the Etihad encounter in the fifth minute, before Leroy Sane equalised for the hosts just after the break.
And Sterling then fired the Citizens into the lead in the 71st minute, which proved to be the winner.
The camera panned to Guardiola where he was seen reacted wildly, before gesturing towards his bench as City coaches rose to their feet to celebrate.
But Arteta remained sitting in his seat – unfazed and unmoved by the goal as he simply shook the hand of a fellow coach.
Arteta is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against his former mentor once again with both clubs also battling for the Premier League title.
Speaking in Thursday’s press conference, the Arsenal boss said: “It’s a big match, and a big test for us against in my opinion the best football team in the world.
“I’m looking forward to it because it will tell us a lot about where we are.
“I think there are going to be two very very different games [between the FA Cup and league matches], and to put similarities into them is very unreal.
“Maybe because of the players on the pitch, but as well the context is extremely different.
“Let’s see – obviously it is important to win and play well. That gives you more momentum, more confidence and prepares you better for the next match, and that’s our focus on Friday.”