Jonas Eidevall: Hayes was ‘very irresponsible’ to label touchline behaviour as ‘aggressive’

Arsenal left it late to retain their Conti Cup title at Molineux, with Stina Blackstenius’ goal in the 116th minute proving to be the difference.

The Gunners looked to have fallen behind in the first half, but were able to breathe a sigh of relief when a lengthy VAR check found that Erin Cuthbert had handled the ball in the buildup to Mayra Ramírez’s goal.

The rollercoaster of emotions did not stop there for Eidevall’s side though, with the 21,462-strong crowd falling silent in stoppage time when Frida Maanum collapsed to the turf. The Norwegian required extensive on-pitch attention, and after she was stretchered off, the club swiftly issued a positive update on her health.

Eidevall explained that Arsenal tried not to let their heads drop as they entered the final thirty minutes of extra time, telling reporters in his post-match press conference that ‘the reality of it is that we have a great medical team, and they’re the ones that are going to look after that situation.’

‘We need to focus on playing football and we were able to do that. It’s so happy that she’s doing well and that’s more important than this, but in that moment, we need to stay task-orientated and in that moment there’s nothing we can do to have control of that situation.’

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‘I’ve been able to have a conversation with her but not from a medical perspective – just checking in with her, how she’s doing and telling her that we’ve won. I don’t have any medical update.’

Eidevall clashed with Emma Hayes following the final whistle, with the Chelsea boss going on to tell reporters that she is ‘not down for male aggression on the touchline.

Informed of those comments during his press conference, Eidevall insisted that ‘that’s a very irresponsible way of labelling the behaviour that I had. I don’t feel comfortable with that label. People can listen to what I’m saying, they can see what I’m doing here – it’s nothing out of order.’

‘I don’t think it’s a big thing. I definitely don’t see myself as aggressive in that situation, it’s very irresponsible putting that label on it. Chelsea wanted it to be played with a one-ball system, therefore the final was played with a one-ball system.’

‘You also need to be a good loser and be responsible in both of those situations. I’m happy with the way I conduct myself, others need to look at themselves in the mirror.’

Eidevall spoke positively about Stina Blackstenius’ influence on the match, praising the Swedish forward for ‘a great season.’

‘She works incredibly hard on and off the ball. She’s really been good in the penalty box throughout the whole season. It was quite an offensive decision from our side to keep Stina and Alessia playing as a nine and ten.’