Jose Mourinho has suggested that Manchester City lack class and manners as the row over Sunday’s Old Trafford post-match bust-up intensified on Tuesday night.
The Manchester United manager argued that City’s players showed a lack of “behaviour” and “education” in the way they celebrated beating their neighbours in the derby.
Mourinho also dismissed reports that Romelu Lukaku had thrown the plastic drinks bottle that left the City coach Mikel Arteta with a cut eye, and accused a BBC journalist who asked a question about the confrontation of working for another club.
The Football Association is investigating allegations that around 15 people were involved in physical exchanges after Mourinho expressed anger at the volume of City’s dressing room celebrations. Pep Guardiola said that his players did not over-celebrate, but Mourinho responded: “He says, he says. He says, he says. I am not here to comment on his words. The only thing I can say is that for me, it was just a question of diversity. Diversity in behaviour, diversity in education.”
United’s manager had milk thrown in his direction outside the City dressing room after objecting to the way their players were celebrating a victory that took them 11 points clear of second-placed United at the top of the table. More players and staff then became involved in the incident, which took place in a corridor leading off the main players’ tunnel. Arteta was left with a cut below his eye after being hit by a plastic drinks bottle during the row, with several reports suggesting that it was thrown by Lukaku.
Mourinho said there was no evidence to support those claims, adding that he was certain that his players had not misbehaved. Some City staff have claimed that one of their physios was punched during the confrontation. United, however, have denied that any of their players threw punches.
Asked about reports that Lukaku had thrown the bottle that injured Arteta, Mourinho said: “Accuse? Prove? Show evidence and punish him.” He then said that he was certain that his players had not misbehaved in the corridor outside City’s dressing room. “I know,” he said. “I am not confident. I know.” When the BBC reporter Dan Roan asked if he feared FA punishment over the brawl, the United boss responded: “I think you work for another club and not for the press.”
The FA has given both clubs until 6pm today to offer their accounts as to what happened in the corridor outside the dressing rooms, and will then decide whether to act.
Mourinho has a history of passionate celebrations himself; he ran down the touchline at Old Trafford to celebrate after his Porto side knocked United out of the Champions League in 2004. He also ran on to the Nou Camp pitch with his arm raised in the air when his Inter Milan team defeated Guardiola’s Barcelona in a 2010 Champions League semi-final.
But the United boss says that his current side are much more restrained, pointing to the way they celebrated winning at Arsenal on 2 December. “What we did in the Arsenal stadium, you know? It was completely diverse [different]. What we did, what happened after that match, the way we behaved as winners.”
- Published in International