José Mourinho and Antonio Conte make peace
‘After the match is an example that in football you have to respect each other,’ said Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte ended their feud in United 2-1 Premier League win at Old Trafford. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters
José Mourinho and Antonio Conte shook hands and ended their feud while the Chelsea manager admitted the champions might again finish outside the top four following defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.
Willian opened the scoring on 32 minutes for Conte’s side before goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard on 39 and 75 minutes lifted United back into second position, six points ahead of Chelsea in fifth.
The two managers entered the match having fallen out because of a war of words earlier in the season. Yet they shook hands before and after and shared a smile during the game.
Mourinho said: “The handshake doesn’t need any words. I think that’s what me and Antonio want to show to everyone and the handshake before and after the match is an example that in football you have to respect each other. Mourinho and Conte are not two ordinary persons in football, we have a history, an image and I’m really happy with that.”
Asked if he and Mourinho had clear-the-air talks beforehand, Conte said: “No, no, but I think that you wanted to see the shake hands and we did at least. [Now]stop, it’s over.”
The Italian is concerned Chelsea may again miss out on a Champions League berth. This previously occurred two years ago following Mourinho’s sacking as Chelsea manager.
“This could be our position for sure,” he said. “In this league to find a place in Champions League is not simple. This is the risk – we must be ready to fight and be ready to understand this, to be concentrated and to understand that this target is an important target for us but it won’t be easy.”
Mourinho pointed to how crucial a win this was. “We start the game with three points difference with Chelsea and we could finish with the same points or six points difference and was important for us to open that gap a little bit,” said the Portuguese. “I’m really happy, we had a great attitude too. We have four fantastic matches at home, Chelsea, Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton knockout and it’s a good way to start this run with a crucial victory, it gives us a little more confidence.” – Guardian service