Mourinho plays down Conte snub, laments missing players
Jose Mourinho played down the handshake snub with Antonio Conte as the Chelsea boss chose to celebrate with his players on the pitch.
Jose Mourinho insisted there is no problem with Antonio Conte after the pair did not shake hands following Premier League champions Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester United. Former Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata was the hero at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Chelsea handed United their second defeat of the season.
It was another losing return to Chelsea for ex-boss Mourinho, who has engaged in mind games with Conte in the media, having clashed last season, and the United manager appeared to be snubbed by his Italian counterpart immediately after the final whistle. However, Mourinho played down the incident when asked about the non-existent handshake as Conte chose to celebrate with his players on the pitch.
You want me to go and chase him in the middle of the pitch? I was there. I shook hands with the people who were there,
Mourinho told reporters.
‘I think one of them was his brother, the assistant, so I feel that by shaking the hands of his brother and the other assistants that I did my duty. I cannot go and run to chase him. Why should I wait [in the tunnel]? He doesn’t have to wait. There is no problem with it at all. You are always worried with these things… no problem.’
The result left United eight points adrift of runaway Premier League leaders and neighbours Manchester City after 11 matches. And Mourinho claimed United missed the presence of injured trio Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.
I think a big game, powerful team against powerful team, tactically, emotionally, physically,” Mourinho said. “Of course we missed some important players, especially the quality and the physicality of some of them who could not be available. The team that scored first probably wins because both teams are very good defensively and being in front could be always an advantage but they score before us and then they were in a more comfortable position.
Even so I think we lost emotionally for a few minutes after the goal, the team was a bit in trouble to be confident again and to try to play again. But then we had a good reaction, good control, obviously they had the space for the counter-attack. We had initiative, courage, dynamic, and we had the chances to equalise, which I think could be a fair result. But this is not about what is fair or what is not fair, it’s about the pragmatism of the result. One goal, three points. Congratulations.