Don't blame me for scuffle at Chelsea – Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho says he was blameless but “the story is over” after a fracas with members of Chelsea’s coaching staff at the end of their 2-2 draw.

The Manchester United manager leapt to his feet and was held back by stewards after Chelsea coach Marco Ianni goaded him following Ross Barkley’s late goal.

“It is not my reaction, it is Sarri’s assistant,” Mourinho told BBC Sport.

“Don’t do what everyone does and say, ‘It’s Mourinho who does things.’ They have apologised, everything is fine.”

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri confirmed that he and his assistant had apologised to Mourinho straight after the game, with Sarri admitting that his staff were in the wrong.

What happened?

Ross Barkley scores

United had taken a 2-1 lead thanks to two goals from Anthony Martial after trailing at the break. But, deep into six minutes of added time, David Luiz headed against the post and Barkley was free to bundle in an equaliser for Chelsea.

Mourinho stayed in his seat but, after Ianni ran past him, reacted to something the Italian said and had to be restrained.

“Oh come on, I can tell you that the 97 minutes of the game was so good that you have to focus on that,” Mourinho told Sky Sports when asked about the incident after the game.

“I am not annoyed with anything. What happened was with Sarri’s assistant, Sarri was the first one to come to me and say he will resolve it.

Jose Mourinho

“The assistant has already come to me and apologised, I told him to forget it. I have made a lot of mistakes in my career.

“He was very impolite but Sarri took care of the situation.”

After the full-time whistle, Mourinho held up three fingers to the Chelsea fans in reference to the three Premier League titles he delivered for the Blues in two spells in charge.

Jose Mourinho

He had said before the game that he would respect his old club by not over-celebrating, but felt he did not receive the same courtesy in return.

“I did not get respect back from Chelsea [fans] but that is not my responsibility,” he said.

“I have a certain level of education, socially and in sport, and what I did here today I would do in Madrid, Porto, Milan, I try to behave always the same way.

“But the reactions of the fans is up to them.”

‘We were in the wrong’

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Sarri was quick to apologise to Mourinho and said he would take action behind closed doors.

He told BBC Sport: “I didn’t see what happened but I have spoken to Jose Mourinho. I understood that we were in the wrong side of the situation.

“I have spoken to a member of my staff and have dealt with this immediately.

“If I speak to a member of staff and am very hard [with him] I cannot come here and tell everything because then I am not credible with the staff.”

‘Mourinho shows missing passion’

Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge:

Manchester United and manager Jose Mourinho finally showed the passion that has been missing for much of this season in an explosive second half.

It may have boiled over into unsavoury scenes after Ross Barkley’s 96th-minute equaliser as the enraged Mourinho moved to chase over-exuberant Chelsea technical assistant Marco Ianni down the tunnel before being held back.

Jose Mourinho

United’s fans, however, will appreciate the efforts and intensity of their players, showing loud support for their manager as they witnessed his team finally show signs of life to build on the momentum of their comeback win against Newcastle United.

Mourinho demonstrated he can still provoke a reaction from these United players as they responded to his half-time talk with a transformed second-half display, full of pace, threat and intent, which took them to within seconds of an outstanding win.

The anguish and rage on Mourinho’s face, as well as the bitter disappointment of United’s players, showed how much the denial of the victory hurt them.

This was, in the second half at least, much more like it from United, as Anthony Martial proved his quality, Juan Mata pulled the strings and Paul Pogba strived to make amends for his dreadful switch-off at Willian’s corner that allowed Antonio Rudiger a free header for Chelsea’s first goal.

In the first half, United were the team so many have criticised this season. In the second, they showed the sort of team they could be.

This was not a team that has given up on its manager and the manager has certainly not given up on his team. The warm embrace from Mourinho that coaxed a large smile out of Martial when he was substituted showed that while they clouds have not disappeared, some have lifted.

The angry scenes at the final whistle will understandably claim much of the attention, with Mourinho reacting to some unnecessary gloating from Ianni.

When the dust settles, though, there is much United and Mourinho can take from this second half – just not a crucial three points.

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BBC Sport – Football

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