WATCH: The CHAOS as Haaland and Ben White ‘come to blows’ (without touching)

Editor F365
Erling Haaland and Ben White exchange words

Erling Haaland ‘chased down Ben White’ by walking towards him while players ‘scrap’ and ‘come to blows’ after Manchester City beat Arsenal.


Chasing farce
Manchester City’s win over Arsenal was pretty damned compelling and there was much to say about the gulf between the two teams, the brilliance of Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland, the shrinking of the Arsenal midfield and the implications for the title race and beyond. There are 16 Conclusions here.

But f*** all that when you can pretend that they are all started fighting.

The top story on The Sun football website on Thursday morning?

‘Man City vs Arsenal descends into CHAOS seconds after final whistle as furious Erling Haaland chases down Ben White’

He ‘chased down Ben White’ by walking aggressively towards him and, well, sort of shouting something with several players between them. CHAOS indeed.

‘CHAOTIC scenes broke out at the final whistle of Manchester City’s 4-1 win over Arsenal as both sets of players came to blows.’

The dictionary definition of ‘come to blows’ is – as we knew already but felt compelled to check – ‘to begin fighting: to begin hitting each other’.

So no, both sets of players did not ‘come to blows’ because nobody actually hit anybody else. Which seems an important distinction.

‘And while the competitiveness of the clash failed to live up to the billing, it remained a fiery encounter throughout.

‘Arsenal fans called for Ruben Dias to be sent off at the end of the first half when he kicked out at Ben White – with Michael Oliver showing him a yellow card.

‘Jack Grealish and Thomas Partey came to blows in the second period when the Man City man nudged over the Arsenal midfielder.’

Nope. They didn’t ‘come to blows’ either, unless fighting now consists of that weird grappling thing that footballers do because they know that raising their hands is a red-card offence.

‘And those aggressive vibes continued at the final whistle when Haaland and White appeared to get involved in a confrontation.

‘Haaland was caught by the BT Sport cameras marching towards White.’

Ha. Can you ‘chase’ somebody down while marching? It feels like a ‘chase’ might need at least a trot.

‘As he approached the Arsenal man, he was kept a safe distance away by a host of red and blue shirts.

‘More players began to get involved in the melee as referee Oliver was forced to diffuse the situation.

‘But the official avoided dismissing anyone as the situation eventually calmed down, with both teams walking off the pitch without any serious incident.’



Fight! Fight! Fight!
What later emerged was that Ben White had initially approached Phil Foden, though nobody knows why. Though the Mirror would quite like you to think they do because, well, clicks.

‘What sparked Ben White’s clash with Phil Foden as Arsenal frustrations boiled over’

No question mark; they obviously know. And yet it becomes patently obvious quite quickly that they absolutely do not have a clue. But by that juncture, they have got your click. And ours.

As you can see from the video, there is more of that weird grappling thing and then some shoving:

Grappling. Shoving. But do you know what didn’t happen?

‘Ben White & Phil Foden scrap after full-time whistle as Arsenal and Man City players separate England team-mates’ – GOAL.

Has nobody in football journalism ever seen an actual fight?


Glad all over
So what happened after the game? The Sun promise to take us ‘inside Man City’s dressing room after demolishing Arsenal as topless Haaland and Grealish soak up huge title win’.

They tell us that the players ‘celebrated in style’ and that they ‘celebrated last night’s win just like a successful final’.

Hmmm. Pretty sure that if City win the Champions League, the celebrations will be a little more exuberant than Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish taking a selfie while Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias sit together and look relatively happy.

Because that is literally all of the insight The Sun have on what happened ‘inside Man City’s dressing room’.

The Mirror also take us ‘inside Man City celebrations as Jack Grealish leads way after crucial win over Arsenal’ with exactly the same images, taken from Grealish’s Twitter account. He didn’t ‘lead the way’ fellas; he was ‘the way’. And no, he had not ‘replaced Saturday’s hat-trick hero, Riyad Mahrez, in the starting XI’. Grealish played on Saturday on the opposite flank to Mahrez.

Over at MailOnline…’Manchester City stars have lapped up their title-defining win against Arsenal with joyous celebrations in the dressing room’.

They ‘lapped up’ their win with smiles and a thumbs-up. Such joyousness. Especially after all that chaos.


VAR from over
And what of VAR? Can there truly be any post-match coverage of a big game without faux outrage about VAR?

‘Why Man City’s second goal vs Arsenal was allowed to stand after lengthy VAR check’ barks the Mirror.

Is it because it was onside? Yes, yes it was.

But The Sun are even more shameless with their big, red, wooden spoon.

‘Arsenal fans in meltdown over ‘reports VAR made wrong call on Stones offside’ with alternative angle causing confusion’

When even the ‘reports’ is in single quotes, you know you are on really sodding dodgy ground. And so it proves:

‘ARSENAL fans were up in arms at claims of reports VAR made the incorrect decision to award John Stones’ goal in their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.’

‘Claims of reports’. Wow. ‘Claims of reports’ that were later withdrawn.

And the goal was still onside.


They think it’s Haal over
But elsewhere there is tactical insight, like this from the never-knowingly-interesting Phil McNulty of the BBC:

‘Man City 4-1 Arsenal: Why Kevin de Bruyne and Erling Haaland will be key to Treble pursuit’

Is it because they are the best players in the Premier League and possibly Europe, Phil?

And Henry Winter tells us in The Times: ‘Haaland looked the worthier contender for Footballer of the Year, not Saka.’

He’s scored 49 goals this season and is currently 1/6 favourite to win the Player of the Year award; who the f*** ever thought Saka was going to win it?


Short memories

Hmmm. Liverpool might argue there was a title race last season when they were within 15 minutes of winning the title.