Arsenal appear to have brushed off an incident between their players Dani Ceballos and Eddie Nketiah after they engaged in a pre-game pushing match on the pitch prior to the start of their opening day fixture with Fulham.
The incident, which happened just 10 minutes before the first kick-off of the new Premier League season, came during a ball retention exercise and kicked off after the 21-year-old Nketiah complained of receiving an unnecessarily heavy challenge from the Spaniard.
Nketiah then grabbed the on-loan Real Madrid star by the arm, with the Spaniard quickly retaliating with a push before their teammates swarmed and broke the altercation up before it became too serious.
Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil, who were both victims in an attempted armed robbery several months ago, were among the players to calm their hot-headed teammates.
Both Ceballos and Nketiah were named as substitutes for the match, and began the game sitting at opposite ends of the bench.
You don’t see this every day 👀Dani Ceballos and Eddie Nketiah got into a heated exchange during a pre-match training routine 👜 pic.twitter.com/u1qMPuZ8Ux
It happens.📸 danifuli10 on Instagram #FULARSpic.twitter.com/whVKekchM9
Arsenal wasted little time engaging in damage control after the match, posting a picture of the two players in happier times after the match, and saying: “It happens.”
And if there was some quarrel on the substitutes’ bench, that didn’t extend to the starting XI as goals from Alexandre Lacazette, new signing Gabriel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyeng secured three points for Mikel Arteta’s side against newly-promoted Fulham.