It was not our intention to do what the Manchester City squad did in the Manchester United locker room; I was
compelled to apologize.Derby rivalries between Manchester United and Manchester City are not unanticipated. Although derbies in England have undeniably evolved in recent years, they continue to be performed on the precipice when compared to how they were conducted in previous decades. The potential for spillage exists at all times, whether it be onto or away from the pitch.
Since the acquisition in 2008, the Blues’ domestic success has introduced a new dimension to the Manchester derby. In contrast to recent times, when United entered the match as favorites, City is now the more likely contender to emerge victorious, irrespective of the setting or competition.
December 2017, when the two sides last collided, it was, in numerous respects, a throwback encounter. Despite the lively matchup on the field, off-field occurrences took center stage and dominated the news coverage.At Old Trafford, City grabbed the lead when David Silva scored the opening goal in the 43rd minute for the away side. Marcus Rashford, however, equalized the score in the supplementary minutes of the initial half. The initial half had been a captivating encounter, and the subsequent half continued in the same manner. A goal scored by Nicolas Otamendi in the 54th minute restored the lead for the Blues, who had been ahead for the majority of the match. That goal proved to be the decisive one.The Reds committed sixteen infractions, whereas City committed ten. Two of Pep Guardiola’s players had received cards, whereas four of Jose Mourinho’s guys had received cautions. The majority of spectators were dissatisfied with the fact that the game had to conclude; the fiery contest had been immensely engaging, but the drama was far from over.
As is customary subsequent to each match, the two managers exchanged handshakes. City extended their lead atop the Premier League standings by 11 points with a 2-1 victory over their formidable rivals. Guardiola, whereas Mourinho hastily made his way towards the tunnel, commenced a celebration with his staff prior to extending his gratitude to the Blues supporters.Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, who was named Man of the encounter, conducted television interviews following the encounter, whereas Sergio Aguero remained in the tunnel conversing. The City players were rejoicing in their arduously earned victory when an unforeseen development occurred due to the proximity of the United coaches’ lounge to the away team dressing room.
Mourinho, exasperated with the outcome and the manner in which his squad performed, approached the entrance of the City locker room and admonished the Blues staff and players to reduce the volume of the music and commotion, as well as to treat their opponents with greater esteem. The request reportedly infuriated Ederson, who was positioned in close proximity to the entrance, and the Portuguese coach; the two coaches then allegedly began to exchange obscenities.The Telegraph reports that Mourinho stated to Ederson, “You f****** demonstrate respect! “Who are you, exactly?”
Following the exchange, a carton of one-pint milk was hurled in the direction of Mourinho. While missing the Reds manager, it collided with a wall and spat upon a United staff member. In response to the uproar, United’s players emerged from their locker room.
There were multiple individuals involved as tempers flared. Romelu Lukaku was eager to lend his manager his support, and the Belgian forward was more than willing to participate in the verbal exchange. It is reported that City captain Vincent Kompany was restrained, and during the pandemonium, then-Blues coach Mikel Arteta was believed to have been struck against a wall. A cranium wound occurred to the Spaniard during the two-minute altercation.
The melee was soon subdued when stewards and a police officer stationed in the tunnel intervened and prevented further bloodshed; both teams of players returned to their locker rooms.Notwithstanding the confrontation and Mourinho’s visit to the referee’s chamber to speak with Michael Oliver, the incident was not addressed in his interviews with Sky Sports, the BBC, and other rights holders. Furthermore, the Portuguese coach refrained from addressing the altercation during his press conference following the match.Guardiola, who replaced Mourinho one minute later, also refrained from commenting on the tunnel brawl.
Despite the fact that the altercation was not the subject of the post-match interviews, Mourinho and Guardiola still managed to provoke one another. The former alleged that referees had granted preferential treatment to the Blues and described the defending of his own team as “disgraceful.”
Mourinho maintained that City’s record 14th consecutive victory was a fortuitous one and argued that Oliver’s decision not to award a penalty in the 79th minute, following Ander Herrera’s fall under Otamendi’s challenge, was incorrect. Herrera was instead scheduled to go diving.
“They are fortunate, I believe they have every decision in their favor,” said Mourinho, who prior to the match had accused City of engaging in diversions. “We can speak about anything you want, we can bring any football theory, stats, ball possession, but like last season it is a huge penalty in a crucial moment.”You would anticipate City to score outstanding goals, not two disgraceful ones. Despite their apparent control, Ederson’s double save stands out as the most significant.Guardiola, however, recalled similar jests following the 2-1 victory at Old Trafford the year prior, stating, “It was identical. We prevailed, however, because we were superior. We made improvements in every department. My opponent’s strategy is unknown to me, but we are all here to attempt to triumph.
Similar efforts were made at Stamford Bridge. It makes me pleased that so many individuals believe that playing in England in this manner is futile. The current month is December. In April, should we hold an 11-point advantage heading into the derby, I might consider disclosing that we have secured the championship.
It was mandatory for both organizations to furnish the Football Association with their respective iterations of the fracas. Unsurprisingly, each party held the other responsible for the occurrence. Although a certain degree of retribution was anticipated, the FA declared “no formal action” would be taken against United or City in late December.
Oliver did not observe the skirmish and did not file a report regarding it; therefore, the FA was tasked with investigating the altercation.Oliver did not observe the skirmish and did not file a report regarding it; therefore, the FA was tasked with investigating the altercation.
“Following a review of the evidence provided by the clubs and independent eyewitnesses, the FA will be taking no formal action,” a statement from the FA stated.
Despite the delay, Mourinho ultimately provided an account of his involvement in the incident. Although circumspect in his discussion of the altercation, he did mention “diversity.”
When questioned by reporters regarding the flashpoint, he responded, “All I can say is that it was a simple matter of diversity; diversity in curriculum and behavior.” “At most, that is all. I have nothing else to say.”
Guardiola maintained, in reply to Mourinho’s objection, that his squad had not intended to provoke their neighbors in the aftermath of the victory.”That was not our intention [to cause United distress].” “Our intention was to celebrate our happiness in the locker room, given that we were delighted,” he explained. “Pardon me if that is not clear to others; I am sorry.” We were ecstatic to have won a derby and desired to throw a celebration in the locker room. I apologise if that causes Man United any offence, not just one player, Jose, or the players as a whole.
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