Eidevall hits back at Taylor's 'borderline slander' bullying claims

Jonas Eidevall has called Gareth Taylor’s comments “unacceptable” and “borderline slander” after his claims that the Arsenal boss bullied a fourth official.

Manchester City manager Taylor accused Arsenal boss Eidevall, and said he acting to “protect” the officials, after their Women’s Super League match on Sunday, which the Gunners won 2-1 through Stina Blackstenius’ late strike.

But speaking ahead of Thursday’s home game with Bristol City in the Continental Cup, Eidevall did not hold back in his response to his rival manager.

“I was really disappointed with the comments,” he said. “There is no truth in them. The wording that Gareth used afterwards is borderline slander. Either he is not very good with the truth or he is not very good with the language.

“I had a good professional dialogue with the officials during the game, I have not spoken to Gareth. I don’t think his comments are acceptable and I would expect him to reach out with an apology but I am not sure this is going to happen.

“I have no intention of going into any legal process or anything. I have no intention about this getting more of my energy than needed but I really do think it is unacceptable to say things about a fellow colleague that is not true.

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Highlights from the WSL clash between Arsenal and Manchester City

“I think everyone who is at the game and can see my behaviour can also see that is not a single percentage of truth in that and I think that is quite sad to be honest. That’s why I think it is unacceptable.”

Asked whether he had spoken to the officials in the immediate aftermath of Taylor’s comments, Eidevall added: “Not after the game, I didn’t speak with the officials.

“During the game I think we had professional dialogue. I’ve not spoken to Gareth. I don’t think his comments are acceptable and I would expect him to reach out with an apology but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen.”

Taylor had been involved in some heated exchanges with Eidevall on the touchline during the match, which left Arsenal level on points with Taylor’s City with 10 points from five games, three behind leaders Chelsea.

Blackstenius put the Gunners back ahead with an 87th-minute finish, capitalising on a misjudgement by Khiara Keating as the City goalkeeper came out to try to deal with a ball forward from Katie McCabe.

The Gunners had opened the scoring through Steph Catley just before the quarter-hour mark, then seen Keating save a Kim Little penalty – awarded following a foul by the teenage keeper on Cloe Lacasse – soon after, before Chloe Kelly brought things level in the 72nd minute.

“That is always the same with him because he is constantly at the fourth official and I think it is bullying,” said Taylor in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.

“I am protecting the fourth official but that’s not my job. I can just see that he gets away with it all the time.”

Manchester City next travel to Liverpool in the Continental Cup on Wednesday night.

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