Things have been pretty frosty between Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp ever since their infamous touchline bust-up in a Premier League clash in November.
Back then, Arsenal had produced a valiant display to keep the game goalless up to the thirtieth minute until the usually calm and serene Arteta suddenly lost his temper when Sadio Mane put in a hefty challenge on Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Both managers squared up to each other, but it was the surprisingly violent reaction of Arteta that was particularly striking, for it got the Kop and the Liverpool players all wound up, leading them to a 4-0 victory.
The match might be a part of history now, but the feistiness between the gaffers is certainly not, as recent pictures of the pair awkwardly hugging after the League Cup tie at Anfield have emerged.
The postponed first leg of the League Cup semi-finals between the two teams, with a fascinating Klopp vs Arteta subplot, was played out last night, ending in a disappointing 0-0 draw.
It was a perfect opportunity for the Reds to snuff out Arsenal’s last chance at a trophy after the Gunners’ midweek embarrassment in the FA Cup. But Liverpool failed to capitalise on their chances even after Granit Xhaka was sent off in the first half itself and put in a less-than-impressive showing.
Despite not having any tasty flare-ups like last time, the meeting between the two managers after the match certainly gave us more than a glimpse of just how tense things are between the German and the Spaniard.
After all, we all love a managerial spat, don’t we? Be it Mourinho and Wenger’s touchline antics, or Lampard and Klopp trying to get one over each other, passion on the sidelines just goes on to show the intensity of emotion our beautiful game holds.
And when it boils over? Ah, those are the savoury moments fans wait for.
This latest confrontation between Klopp and Arteta, despite both managers downplaying it since, is yet another piece in football’s long and strong affiliation with emotions. And we love it.