Manchester United's Jose Mourinho accuses Manchester City over lack of class in wake of derby bust-up

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.”

Barnes winner blasts Burnley up to fourth

Burnley’s Ashley Barnes fired a last-gasp winner as his off-colour side climbed to the heady heights of fourth in the Premier League with a fortuitous 1-0 win over struggling Stoke City on Tuesday. There was little to warm the home crowd on a wet and windy night but those who braved the wintry weather were celebrating in the 89th minute as Barnes seized on a ricochet off team mate Scott Arfield and thumped a shot past Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland. Burnley moved above Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool -- all of whom play on Wednesday -- and are the highest they have been in the top flight since 1975.

Sean Dyche’s side have played much better this season, but despite managing only two shots on target all night against the team with the worst defence in the Premier League, they found a way to get their ninth win from 17 games. “Tonight was a different style of getting a result. It was an ugly game at times in harsh conditions,” Dyche said.

“We found a way to win and a real fine goal. Sometimes that’s football. We’re not the real deal, we’re a side that are improving. We’re having a real go at what we can achieve this season. The fans and the town have got to enjoy these times.” Stoke’s form has been in direct contrast to Burnley’s and the pressure was starting to mount on manager Mark Hughes after his side’s second-half capitulation in a 5-1 defeat by Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

That left them with 16 points from 16 games, which represented their worst start to a Premier League season, but they could count themselves unlucky not to return to the Potteries with at least a point on Tuesday. Only a post prevented Peter Crouch giving the visitors an early lead while Kurt Zouma wasted another good chance and Mame Diouf fired an effort into the side-netting. Hughes was jeered when he took off the creative Xherdan Shaqiri in the 84th minute but there was worse to come when Barnes produced a rare moment of quality to plunder the win. “I thought the lads were fantastic and matched everything Burnley threw at us,” Hughes said.

“I thought when we were able to get the ball down, we were the team trying to create openings in wide areas and get good balls in. It’s hard to take, Burnley didn’t deserve to win.”

Stoke are three points above the drop zone with second-from-bottom West Ham United visiting on Saturday.

 

Champions League - will the English 5 survive?

Chelsea's mouthwatering tie with five-time European champions Barcelona is the standout fixture for English clubs in the Champions League last 16 as the Premier League sides scent blood.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea all progressed from the group stage, making England the first country to have so many sides through to the knockout phase.

That quintet suffered just three defeats between them in the group stage and scored 80 goals in total, while reigning English champions Chelsea were the only team not to win their group.

The first legs will be played on February 13/14 and 20/21, with the second legs on March 6/7 and 13/14.

Basel v Manchester City

Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City will not be losing too much sleep over the prospect of a clash with Swiss side Basel, who finished second in Manchester United's qualifying group.

Champions League favourites City, who have never won the competition, are on a 14-match winning streak in the Premier League and they were only denied a perfect record in the group stage when a much-changed side lost 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in their final match.

Chelsea v Barcelona

Antonio Conte's Chelsea will face Spanish league leaders Barcelona for the sixth time in the knockout stages of Europe's elite club competition.

The Blues were the only English club not to progress to the last 16 as group winners and, currently third in the Premier League, are struggling to find the consistency that took them to the league title last year.

Barca have lost some of their lustre with the departure to Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar but they still boast the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack and will be formidable opponents.

The La Liga club have progressed from six of their past seven Champions League knockout ties against English opposition -- the exception being their 2012 semi-final defeat by Chelsea, when the London club went on to lift the trophy.

Juventus v Tottenham

Tottenham have been handed a tough tie against last season's beaten finalists Juventus after topping a challenging group that included reigning champions Real Madrid.

The Italian side will approach the tie with trepidation, having been eliminated in each of their past five European knockout ties with English teams.

Spurs have endured a tricky recent spell in the Premier League but their performances in Europe this season suggest they have matured under manager Mauricio Pochettino after the disappointment of crashing out in the group stage last year.

Porto v Liverpool

Five-time European champions Liverpool sealed top spot in their qualifying group with a 7-0 win against Spartak Moscow in which all of their "Fab Four" front men found the net.

Jurgen Klopp's men stuttered earlier in the season but have hit their stride in the Premier League and the Champions League, with Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane dazzling in front of goal.

Too far off the pace to realistically challenge in the Premier League, Liverpool -- who qualified from the group phase for the first time since the 2008-2009 season -- will be confident of overcoming the Portuguese league leaders

Sevilla v Manchester United

Manchester United, who have won the competition three time, will face Sevilla for the first time in a competitive fixture with manager Jose Mourinho gunning for his third Champions League trophy.

United are second in the Premier League but are a whopping 11 points behind City and know despite the heavyweight teams left in the competition, the Champions League is probably a more realistic chance of silverware.

FA asks Man United and Man City to explain tunnel bust-up

The Football Association has written to Manchester United and Manchester City to seek their observations over the tunnel bust-up at the end of Sunday's clash at Old Trafford.

Referee Michael Oliver did not witness the incident and told the FA on Monday morning that he did not submit an incident report because he was not aware of the clash at the time.

As a result, the FA has given both clubs until 6 p.m. GMT on Wednesday, Dec. 13, to respond. The FA can seek CCTV footage from the tunnel area should they opt to pursue an investigation.

Around 15 players and coaches were reportedly involved in a melee near the dressing rooms after City's 2-1 win. Sources said United believed City's celebrations were "disrespectful" and "very vocal."

A source close to City said the incident started when United boss Jose Mourinho entered the visitors' dressing room and that while loud music was being played, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

The City source also confirmed that their assistant coach Mikel Arteta had a cut to his face but refuted reports that said Arteta was "pouring with blood" and that milk or water was thrown at Mourinho. United could also find themselves in hot water with the FA after a smoke bomb appeared to be thrown from the stands towards Bernardo Silva in the closing stages of the game.

The object did not hit the City midfielder, landing a few feet away before being moved to the side of the pitch. The FA have confirmed they are investigating the incident and have written to United to ask for their observations.

City do not plan to make any formal complaint, according to the source, and view the matter as "argy-bargy."

There were police officers present in the main tunnel area, although not in the corridor next to the changing rooms. No complaints have been made.

Wayne Rooney, Dominic Calvert-Lewin combine late to steal Everton a point

For only the second time since 1937, Everton gratefully received an Anfield penalty and left with an unlikely 1-1 draw as Wayne Rooney converted the 77th-minute spot kick for his first goal in a Merseyside derby.

With Liverpool frustrated and their manager Jurgen Klopp apoplectic at the penalty decision, the opposing style of play and seemingly just about everything else, Sam Allardyce ended a fraught afternoon much the happier of the two managers. Allardyce remains the last opposing manager to win at Anfield and is in his element in this environment, thriving on the pantomime attached to derbies and these big games in general.

While there was no victory on this occasion, the Everton manager can reflect on a hard-earned point and more than a few opposing feathers ruffled along the way.

Many Everton fans rightly dread trips to Anfield thanks to recent history, but there is little doubt Allardyce will absolutely relish the chance to do this all again when the two teams meet at Anfield in the FA Cup in January.

Jose Mourinho 'involved in dressing room bust-up' with Man City player after Old Trafford defeat

Jose Mourinho is reported to have been involved in a dressing-room bust-up with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson as the Manchester derby descended into acrimony, according to reports in the UK media.

Mourinho is said to have gone to the City dressing room and told their players to tone down their celebrations after a 2-1 win that saw them extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11-points.

Several newspapers are reporting that the Manchester United manager had milk and water thrown at him after the spat with Ederson, which also involved several members of the City playing and coaching staff.

Meanwhile, a report in the Guardian suggest the confrontation got nasty as City assistant manager Mikel Arteta was 'was left with blood streaming down his face' after the clashes. Mourinho went on to suggest City were lucky to win at Old Trafford after his side were denied a second half penalty, even though the visitors dominated the game from first to last.

"Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them," said Mourinho.

"My first reaction is I feel sorry for referee Michael Oliver because he had a very good match but unfortunately he made an important mistake.

"The result was made with a big penalty not given (on Ander Herrera). That would have been 2-2 with 20 minutes to go. Michael was unlucky because it was a clear penalty.

"The referee is a human being and he tried his best. He was very committed to have a good match which I think he had but made one mistake which was a crucial mistake.

"They scored two goals which were quite unbelievable to concede. They scored two goals out of nothing with rebounds....two easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. "I think they are a very good team, but I think they are lucky, they have decisions in their favour.

"We did enough to win the game? It depends on your perspective. They had more of the ball and apparently more control because they kept the ball more than us. But I think the players fought enough. Without any analysing the match is made of incidents and the penalty was a big incident."

Arnautovic strikes Hammer blow to Chelsea title bid

David Moyes claimed his first win as West Ham United manager after Marko Arnautovic’s goal gave the Premier League strugglers a shock 1-0 win over champions Chelsea on Saturday.

Arnautovic, the Hammers’ £24 million ($32.1 million, 27.3 million euros) record signing, struck in the sixth minute to earn Moyes his first win in his fifth game since succeeding Slaven Bilic.While the Austrian’s neat strike boosted his side’s hopes of climbing out of the bottom three, it dealt a severe blow to Chelsea’s hopes of defending their title.

Victory would have moved Antonio Conte’s side level on points with second-placed Manchester United and closed the gap to leaders Manchester City to eight points.Last weekend’s narrow defeat at Manchester City appeared to have instilled confidence in Moyes’s side, who demonstrated no fear in taking the game to Chelsea.

That belief was summed up in the way they carved open the visitors’ defence to force the breakthrough.Arnautovic exchanged passes with Manuel Lanzini before wrong-footing Cesar Azpilicueta and placing the ball beyond Thibaut Courtois with his left foot.

Chelsea had rallied to beat Newcastle United last weekend after falling behind, but their response this time was less convincing.Even Eden Hazard showed signs of being off the pace when he pulled a close-range volley across the face of goal.

Conte’s men, who had missed out on the chance to top their Champions League group after failing to beat Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in mid-week, lacked their usual zip.While Adrian was obliged to save sighters from N’Golo Kante and Davide Zappacosta, Chelsea struggled to create enough clear openings during the first half.

Hazard had this week been told by Conte he must show the level of hunger demonstrated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi if the Belgian is to challenge for the Ballon d’Or.But the former Lille player failed to show anything like his best during the opening 45 minutes at the London Stadium.Morata was also ineffective and Conte reacted to a disappointing first half by introducing Pedro for Tiemoue Bakayoko in an attempt to provide the former Real Madrid striker with more support.

The initial signs were positive for the visitors, although they could have fallen further behind had referee Anthony Taylor taken a different view of a handball incident nine minutes after the break.

The ball struck Andreas Christensen’s hand as Arnautovic, who produced his best performance in a West Ham shirt, attempted to cut inside the Dane on the edge of the Chelsea box.To the Chelsea defender’s relief, Taylor viewed the contact as accidental.

GUARDIOLA HAS NO REGRETS AT SNUBBING CHANCE TO SUCCEED FERGUSON AT MAN UTD

Pep Guardiola has no regrets at having snubbed Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson to eventually link up with Manchester City.

The Catalan coach met with the Red Devils’ iconic former manager back in 2012 as the Scot was preparing to head into retirement.

Guardiola was taking a 12-month sabbatical at the time after leaving Barcelona and discussed all things football with Ferguson. He insists that he never spotted an invitation to head to Old Trafford and has no complaints at having ended up across Manchester at the Etihad Stadium via three years at Bayern Munich.

Guardiola told reporters on his meeting with Ferguson: “My English in that period was not as good as it is right now – and so maybe I just didn’t understand what Sir Alex told me. “We met in a magnificent restaurant for dinner and I think he has said he suggested to me something about going to Old Trafford.

“But I really don’t remember that. We spoke about life, about football, about the Premier League, I remember.

“But there was no message sent to me under the table about United. I think I would remember that.

“It was just two friends, two colleagues in football, talking about many, many things.

“What I do remember was that Sir Alex spoke really fast and it was difficult to understand him.

“But it was nice because he chose an amazing restaurant – and of course he paid!”

Guardiola added: “In that period I had already talked to Bayern ­Munich and it was clear to me that I was going to experience Germany. “Bayern Munich were the first club to call me, and then ­Manchester City, but I had already decided to try to prove myself in Germany and live that experience.

“After that, from almost the day I arrived, Manchester City asked me again and I said that if I went to the Premier League I would go to them. “I spoke to [City chairman] ­Khaldoon [Al Mubarak] and [City director of football] Txiki ­[Begiristain] again during my last period in Bayern Munich and they showed more ­interest than any other club to pick me up.

“That was so important to me – and believe me, I don’t have any regrets.”

Guardiola will be at Old Trafford on Sunday with City, as he prepares to rekindle his rivalry with old adversary Jose Mourinho in another Premier League derby duel.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho questions Pep Guardiola's yellow ribbon for Catalonia prisoners

Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United manager, questioned on Friday whether he would be allowed to make a political statement in the same manner as Pep Guardiola after the Manchester City manager's show of support for prisoners in Catalonia.

Guardiola has begun to wear a yellow ribbon in recent months, with the symbol used by Catalonia’s independence movement to call for the release from jail of members of the region’s government.

The former Barcelona manager and native of Catalonia, who Mourinho will come up against in Sunday’s Manchester derby, first wore the ribbon during his side’s 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion on 28 October.

Though he went without one for the Champions League trip to Napoli the following Wednesday, Guardiola has been seen sporting the symbol in every game since.

When asked whether he would ever make a similar political gesture, Mourinho said: “I think I wouldn't be allowed to, that’s just what I think.”

The United manager, who has previously complained officials do not use the “same rules for everyone” added: “I think that our political ideology and our political beliefs is something that we have the right to have.

“We are normal citizens like everybody else in our countries and everybody else in our world. I've known Pep for many years, I think I know what Pep feels about his country. To have it in football, I don't know the rules,” he said.

“If the rules allow us to do that, he is a free citizen to do it. But I am not sure if the rules allow any political message on the pitch. That's just my doubt. But I know Pep and I know his feelings like everyone else because it is public about his country.”

According to the Premier League’s rulebook and in line with Fifa’s Laws of the Game, players are forbidden from revealing “political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images or advertising”.

Manchester and Merseyside derbies plunged into doubt as winter weather sweeps in.

Two of the most eagerly anticipated Premier League games of the season may well be under threat, with the Manchester and Liverpool derbies on Sunday in danger of being affected by a deluge of snow.

Weather forecasters are predicting as much as eight inches of snow will fall in the Manchester region in the hours before United and City are due to clash at Old Trafford.

The North West of England is expected to be deluged by heavy snow in the early hours of Sunday morning, with lighter snow then predicted to fall through to the 4.30pm kick-off time.

The adverse weather could also put Liverpool's derby clash with Everton at Anfield that is due to kick-off at 2.15pm in serious doubt, with an amber warning issued for Sunday.

"A spell of heavy snow is likely over parts of Wales, the Midlands and parts of Northern England on Sunday," reads the statement on the Met Office website.

"Rail and air travel delays are likely, as well as stranding of vehicles and public transport cancellations. There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off."

While Manchester United and Liverpool officials may be able to ensure the playing surface is fit to play the two games, but the health and safety of supporters may be brought into consideration if the expected snowfall arrives.

The state of the roads around Old Trafford and Anfield could be taken into consideration by authorities, with the pavements around the stadiums also needing to be clear of snow for the games to get the green light.

A cancellation for either fixture would lead to a huge headache for the teams affected, with limited slots in the diary to reschedule games in a hectic English season.

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