AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
TETCHY Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists he feels no remorse over a touchline fracas with Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge yesterday despite facing the possibility of disciplinary action.
Wenger and Mourinho’s simmering feud boiled over 20 minutes into the London derby, which Chelsea won 2-0 courtesy of a first-half Eden Hazard penalty and a late Diego Costa clincher.
Wenger was furious with a rash Gary Cahill tackle on Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and marched towards his opposite number’s technical area before confronting Mourinho and pushing the Portuguese in the chest.
The pair were separated by fourth official Jonathan Moss before referee Martin Atkinson intervened, with Wenger evasive about the scenes which were reminiscent of his spat with then West Ham manager Alan Pardew in 2006.
“What is there to regret?” said Wenger. “I wanted to go from A to B and somebody confronted me in between without any sign of welcome. B was Sanchez to see how badly he was injured. I think it was a red card.
“It was a little push. You can see when I really try to push.”
No handshake was evident at the end of the contest which extended Wenger’s winless run against Mourinho to 12 matches as their relationship and the level of personal animosity plunged to new depths.
Former Real Madrid manager Mourinho played down the incident with the Frenchman but was forced to defend the club’s treatment of keeper Thibaut Courtois, who suffered concussion early in the first-half following a collision with Sanchez.
“It became heated because it was a big game with big clubs and it was an important match for both teams so I think these conditions made it a game of emotions,” said Mourinho.
“After that there are two technical areas, one for me and one for him, he was coming to my technical area and he was not coming for the right reasons. He was coming to press the referee to give a red card and I didn’t like that. I have done wrong things in football, sometimes you have emotion, but not this time. But forget the push, it’s no problem.”
Belgian No1 Courtois received treatment and played on for 13 minutes before being replaced by veteran stopper Petr Cech and taken to hospital for precautionary tests.
Mourinho added: “On the bench I don’t communicate with the doctors, I just get decisions.
“I have no medical qualities so the club’s medical staff took control and gave me their decision.”