Jose Mourinho has explained why he didn’t shake hands with Antonio Conte following Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final.
A red card for Ander Herrera in the 35th minute placed Man United – following a strong opening – on the back foot, with N’Golo Kante’s strike proving enough to send Chelsea to Wembley.
Mourinho and Conte had to be separated by fourth officials at one point during the game and didn’t approach each other at the full-time whistle.
The 54-year-old, when asked about why their pair didn’t shake hands, made it clear that such an occurrence was not underpinned by any bad blood between the two.
“If I see him here I will shake it,” he said. “I didn’t because I thought my players deserved my action immediately and our supporters also deserved our thanks to them, so it was that.
I can promise you that if I see him out there I will shake his hand. I have nothing to speak with him at all but to shake his hand, for sure I will do that.”
The headline ‘Mourinho refuses to shake Conte’s hand following defeat at old club’ will, I’m sure, be used by various media outlets, but the truth is that there was no ‘snubbing’ (that will be in the sub-headline, I bet you – I bet you the rest of my student loan, which is nearing single figures) involved in this situation.
When the full time whistle blew Conte, somewhat unsurprisingly, was off to celebrate. This was a difficult game for the Italian that many simply expected to win; Mourinho, on the other hand, was more concerned with speaking to his players and, once again, thanking the travelling support for once again adding some noise to Stamford Bridge.