Manuel Pellegrini on handshake snub
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he “did not want to” shake hands with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho after the 2-1 defeat by the Blues.
Pellegrini was irked by Mourinho’s reaction to celebrate Chelsea’s injury-time winner against City. The Portuguese jumped into the stand to celebrate with the supporters in exuberant fashion.
“I did not expect anything different from him,” said Pellegrini. “It is normal.”
Mourinho said: “If they feel I did something wrong, I apologise.”
The Portuguese, 50, defended his actions by claiming he was trying to get to his son in the crowd when he celebrated the winning goal.
“This is the drama of the last minute,” said Mourinho. “He [Pellegrini] lost the game in the last minute, and I have sympathy with that.
“In other countries and cultures we shake hands before the game, and that is it.
“If he was sad because of the result I understand, if he was sad because I did something wrong, I accept that too.”
Genuine contrition or a disingenuous response from the Chelsea man? Who knows.
There is history between the pair. Mourinho succeeded Pellegrini as Real Madrid head coach after the Chilean was sacked in 2010, despite gaining a then record points total with the Spanish giants.
In 2011, Mourinho questioned both his predecessor’s achievements at the Bernabeu and choice of club after Pellegrini subsequently decided to join Malaga.
“Second place is just the first loser,” said the Portuguese ahead of a match between Malaga and Real. “If Madrid were to fire me, I wouldn’t go to Malaga. I’d go to a top-level team in Italy or England.”