Jose Mourinho had some words for Antonio Conte at the final whistle of United’s 4-0 humbling from Chelsea, stating that Conte had disrespected his United side by trying to fire up the home crowd after the game was well and truly over.
The Italian manager has responded with a statement of his own, saying, “I was a football player, so I know how to behave on the pitch. There were United fans who kept singing, while ours were silent after a great performance from my team. I wanted to call the crowd to applaud the players, which seems normal enough to me.”
There was nothing normal about the result for ‘The Special One’; the loss was Mourinho’s worst ever result in the Premier League, and his worst overall since 2010. His side never had a chance to play in the manner they did against Liverpool at Anfield last week, as Pedro pounced on a defensive error to score the fastest goal in the Premier League this season, registering at 30 seconds.
The strike was Pedro’s first goal of the season and just his ninth for the club, as the Spaniard continues through the second season of what has been a quiet spell for The Blues following a transfer from Barcelona. He has started back-to-back league fixtures for the first time this season because of omissions Willian and Oscar, both of whom have recently returned to the squad following compassionate leave.
Chelsea have built a base to build on following three successive league victories without a goal conceded, and Conte faces welcome headaches in the form of finding a way back into the squad for the key Brazilian duo of Oscar and Willian. John Terry continues to wait for his return, only making the bench in the last two games as Chelsea’s trio in defence continue to acclimatise to Conte’s methods.
“I have great respect for everyone. Nothing happened with Jose, especially as my behaviour seemed normal. I didn’t make fun of him or humiliate anyone, as I always demand respect,” said Conte. “Today, I think it is important to talk about the game and I say my players deserved this type of performance.”
Both Chelsea and Manchester United will feature in derbies in the mid-week League Cup fixtures, first with Chelsea travelling to the London Stadium to face West Ham. Manchester United will play in the second Manchester derby of the season already, as they welcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to Old Trafford.