Mikel Arteta has been accused of being the one who provoked Lionel Messi in Tuesday night’s tunnel bust-up after Manchester City’s win over Barcelona.
Ilkay Gundogan’s double and Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime free-kick secured a 3-1 victory for Pep Guardiola against his former club at the Etihad Stadium.
But the victory was marred by an incident in the tunnel after the full-time whistle, with Messi reportedly involved in a confrontation with City’s players.
Sergio Aguero has revealed that he was the one who calmed his fellow Argentine down following a heated exchange.
But according to Spanish television station La Sexta, it was Arteta who triggered the incident with a remark towards the Barcelona forward.
According to the report, Arteta told Messi: ‘What are you waiting for? Go and get changed, arsehole.’
And Messi allegedly replied: ‘Idiot, come over here, don’t run off and hide!’
Arteta became a member of Guardiola’s coaching staff this summer after he ended his five-year stint at Arsenal.