Chelsea’s Emma Hayes criticises ‘male aggression’ of Arsenal’s Jonas Eidevall

Chelsea’s Emma Hayes criticises ‘male aggression’ of Arsenal’s Jonas Eidevall

The Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, accused her counterpart Jonas Eidevall of “male aggression” on the touchline during Arsenal’s 1-0 Continential League Cup final win in extra time, while Eidevall replied it was “irresponsible” of her to use that label.

Hayes appeared to push Eidevall as they shook hands after the feisty tie, and she said she thought his behaviour towards Erin Cuthbert as she went to take a throw-in in the dying minutes of the game was “unacceptable”.

Stina Blackstenius scored the only goal deep in extra time of a tight encounter, but the victory was marred by the collapse of the Norwegian midfielder Frida Maanum.

“Frida is conscious, talking and in a stable condition. She will continue to be monitored closely by our medical team,” Arsenal said in a statement shortly after the start of extra time.

Eidevall said Maanum would travel back to London with the team: “I’ve been able to have a conversation with her but not from a medical perspective, just with checking in with her, how she is doing, telling her that we won, and understanding a little bit what is the next steps.”

He also praised the ability of his side to refocus after the incident. “Of course, it looks very scary when Frida goes down,” he said. “The first thing after the game is that we don’t care about winning, we care about how is Frida. And I’m so happy that she’s doing well. That’s much more important than this. But in that moment, there’s nothing we can do to control that situation, but we can control our football. That’s what we needed to do and that’s what Frida wanted us to do as well, to make her a champion.”

Arsenal's Leah Williamson and Kim Little lift the trophy as they celebrate after the 1-0 win over Chelsea.View image in fullscreen

After the goal went in, Chelsea sought an equaliser, prompting the incident that occurred with Cuthbert and then Hayes. “Listen, I think there’s a way to conduct yourself on the touchline, I really do. I think it’s absolutely essential that we role model in the right way,” Hayes said.

“I’m not down for male aggression on the touchline, I’m really not, and fronting up to players, for me, that’s unacceptable. I’m disappointed and I told Jonas that. I don’t think it’s OK to behave like that. He got a yellow card, and he should have probably been sent off. I’m all for competing to win, I’ve never been booked in 12 years, my time here, I totally accept he’s a winner and wants to win but his behaviour on the touchline wasn’t acceptable.”

Eidevall expressed his disappointment at Hayes’s comments, explaining that his frustration came from the attempts of Chelsea to use a different ball late on with the Blues 1-0 down and minutes left, despite blocking the use of a multiball system before the game. Replays showed Eidevall gesticulating from distance as Cuthbert collected the ball, then Cuthbert approached him after taking the throw-in before racing back on to the pitch.

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“I think that’s a very irresponsible way of labelling the behaviour that I have, I don’t feel comfortable with that label, I don’t think it’s the truth to do that, so I think it’s very irresponsible to do that,” he said. “The ball gets kicked away and Chelsea wants to take a new ball to throw a quick throw-in and I said: ‘You guys wanted to play with one ball, now we need to get that ball.’

“Of course, Erin doesn’t get happy over that, I didn’t say anything more in that situation. If we decide to play with one ball we play with one ball. I like to play with multi-ball, the game is quick, but they didn’t want to do it and you can’t do it when it suits you.

“I think there is definitely a way you behave in the technical area, there is also a way you behave after the game, being a good winner, but you also need to be a good loser and be responsible in both those situations. I’m happy with the way I conduct myself and others need to look in the mirror and see if they’re happy with themselves.”