Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho have shared quite a bit of history. Their intense rivalry which saw Mourinho call Wenger a ‘specialist in failure’ last season, was shown again recently when the two sides were pitted against each other in the Premier League.
In the first half of the game, following Gary Cahill’s challenge on Alexis Sanchez, which earned the Chelsea defender a yellow card, Wenger moved towards the area of the ‘scene’. Mourinho got seemingly annoyed seeing his counterpart in his technical area. There were words exchanged and the animosity and rivalry the two share, was visible. Wenger then went towards Mourinho and pushed the Blues boss away, Mourinho in turn grabbed Wenger’s tie. Martin Atkinson had to eventually intervene to calm the duo down.
The Arsenal boss has now said that he now feels he shouldn’t have acted on his anger but feels he was provoked by the Portuguese manager.
‘In hindsight I think I should not have reacted at all, it’s not a way to behave on a football field,’ Wenger said.
‘I always regret any signs of violence and I apologise, but that’s a part of games where everything is manic. And then we have quite a substantial past.
‘Did Mourinho provoke me? That is how I felt. I did not enter Chelsea’s technical area.’
The Chelsea boss now has a 12 match unbeaten run against Wenger and was not keen on commenting on the confrontation.
‘I have no words to explain what everybody else saw in those images’, he said.
‘Wenger will explain what he wants to explain. I will not say more.’
Before the match too, Mourinho refused to apologize about the ‘specialist in failure’ comment even though he did congratulate Wenger on his 18 years as Arsenal manager.
“I don’t apologise, he didn’t apologise. My feeling is not to go over it – forget it, to move forwards without thinking about what happened. He doesn’t need to apologise, so I don’t need an apology or to apologise,” said Mourinho
“Intelligent football people don’t need that, it’s finished. Let’s go for another match with big responsibilities for both of us.”