FA awaits referee’s report on Mourinho bust-up before taking action
Scuffle erupted after United manager reacted to Chelsea coach celebrating late equaliser
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho reacts to Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni celebrating his side’s later equaliser. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
The English Football Association is awaiting the referee’s report before deciding whether any further action is warranted over the unsavoury scenes on the touchline at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho took exception to the way Chelsea coach Marco Ianni celebrated Ross Barkley’s late equaliser, prompting a melee around the tunnel.
The Portuguese received an apology from Ianni and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and said he considers the matter closed, but it remains to be seen whether the FA opts to take further action over the incident.
Sarri also said he would speak to Ianni again on Sunday.
Anthony Martial’s second-half double looked set to earn United all three points until Barkley’s intervention deep into stoppage time.
For the second match running United had come from behind to lead, and Ashley Young has now called for United to start matches the way they have been finishing them of late.
Young, who received praise for how he limited the influence of Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard, told MUTV: “We have to look at the positives, I think we deserved to win it – we got on top.
“That is what we have to do, go into the game and look to start on more of a front foot, especially at home.
“That is the way we have got to do it, the second half against Newcastle and 60-65 minutes of this game and as long as we play like that I’m sure we will get the result.
“We are gutted. When you get yourself back into the game, not just back in the game but you are winning and concede with a minute to go, I’m still baffled where the referee got six minutes [of stoppage time] from.”
Young also singled out Martial for praise.
“He is fantastic and a world-class player,” Young said. “To be honest I’m not sure why he isn’t in the France squad. I see him day in and day out, he is some talent.
“He is unbelievable and shows that finishing in training, he is a fantastic player, he got the goals. But it wasn’t just him, every player on the pitch was fantastic.”
Chelsea, who remain unbeaten under Sarri as a result of Barkley’s late leveller, had gone ahead as Antonio Rudiger evaded Paul Pogba on a corner to power a free header past David De Gea.
Unlike Young, Rudiger was happy to take a share of the spoils after he felt “silly mistakes” almost cost the hosts dear.
“We can be happy with this point because we nearly lost and we are still undefeated,” he said.
“In the second half we dropped more, we let them have more possession and we made some silly mistakes so they got some counter-attacks.
“They are a strong team, physically very strong. We need to learn to kill matches, but scoring late so often shows our mentality. We don’t give up, and also at the moment we have luck.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, have no immediate intentions to sell the club, or even a stake in it.
Rumours first began to circulate around a week ago that the Glazers, United’s owners since 2005, were considering a takeover bid from Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, with reports on Saturday suggesting an offer in the region of £4 billion (€4.5 billion) was to be discussed between both parties in the next couple of weeks.
That, however, appears to be somewhat off the mark given the decision of Avram Glazer, United’s co-owner, to pull out of an upcoming investment forum in Saudi Arabia amid the diplomatic fallout caused by the recent death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
More broadly, it is understood that there is little, if any, appetite within the Old Trafford hierarchy for a change of ownership. The initial rumours of a potential Saudi takeover led to United’s share price reaching an all-time high on the on the New York Stock Exchange of $27.65, with Forbes valuing the club at about at £3.2 billion (€3.6 billion).
The Glazers’ 13-year ownership of United has been marked by controversy since Malcolm Glazer, the head of the family, took control of the 20-times champions of England by leveraging it with debt of more than £500 million (€567 million).
The takeover has drained from United £1 billion (€1.1 billion) in interest, costs, fees and dividends with the club continuing financially to serve the six Glazer siblings, who collectively own 97 per cent of United’s voting shares following the death of their father in May 2014.