Arsène Wenger has refused to apologise for pushing José Mourinho as the managers were involved in an unseemly first-half row during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Wenger had been angered by Gary Cahill’s poor challenge on Alexis Sánchez and strode out of his technical area and across that of his opposite number.
Mourinho stood his ground while the Arsenal manager attempted to push him back. The pair clashed again seconds later with the fourth official stepping in to physically separate them and the referee, Martin Atkinson, subsequently having words with both.
Wenger expressed no regret. “What is there to regret?” he asked.
“I wanted to go from A to B, and somebody confronted me before B without any sign of welcome. B was Sánchez, to see how badly he was injured.”
The Arsenal manager suggested Cahill’s foul was worthy of a red card.
“A red card for Cahill wouldn’t surprise you if you watched it again. I went to Sanchez to see how badly he was injured,” explained the Arsenal manager.
Wenger felt that referee Martin Atkinson was too lenient with the Chelsea players throughout the match.
“Oscar was lucky to stay on the pitch with his repeated fouling and he was only booked in the 88th minute,” he added. “He was purposely fouling. Then there is Ivanovic as well with bad fouls, but it’s down to the referee, not to me.
“I trust you will all teach me the moral lessons over the next two weeks and I can accept that. I am long enough in the game to see things the right way. Honestly, I don’t listen to what he says. Push him? You would know if I really tried to push [him]. Come on.”
The pair, who have clashed on an off the pitch since Mourinho arrived in English football in 2004, did not acknowledge each other on the final whistle.
“It becomes heated because it’s a big game, big clubs, big rivals, an important match for both teams,” said Mourinho.
“These conditions make a game of emotions. After that,there are two technical areas. One for me, one for him. He was coming into my technical area and not for the right reasons, to give some technical instructions. He was coming to push the referee for a red card, and I didn’t like that.
“But no problem. I think (fourth official) Jonathan Moss did a good job, and Atkinson too. I’ve done so many wrong things in football, sometimes due to emotion, but not this time. This time I was just in my technical area and it was not my problem. Game over. Story over.”