Jose Mourinho stands his ground as Pep Guardiola offers guarded apology

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho stood his ground and said Manchester City showed during Sunday’s behind-the-scenes Old Trafford fracas how different they are to his players.

However, rival boss Pep Guardiola remains convinced his City stars have nothing to say sorry about.

Guardiola offered an apology but his aim was to appease rather than accept any fault, as both clubs prepared incident reports which must be sent to the Football Association by 6pm today.

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

Runaway Premier League leaders City opened up an 11-point gap over second-placed United with their 2-1 weekend win.

Victory sparked mass celebrations from City, and United are understood to have taken exception to how their visitors conducted themselves in and around the dressing room area.

Milk and water are claimed to have been thrown at Mourinho after a reported confrontation with City goalkeeper Ederson, leading to an altercation involving up to 20 players and staff in a crowded corridor.

Mourinho said: "The only thing I can say is that for me it was just a question of diversity - diversity in behaviours, diversity in education. Just that and nothing more than that.

"The diversity of behaviour, of opinion, of education."

He added: "You know, what we did in the Arsenal stadium (after winning 3-1 their earlier this month) it was completely diverse.

"What we did, what happened after that match, the way we behaved as winners... but no problem."

Mourinho wanted to look ahead to tonight’s match against Bournemouth and was frustrated the derby remained the main talking point.

When asked about possible FA punishment, Mourinho said: "May punish who? Why?"

Mourinho gave short shrift to another reporter bringing up claims that Romelu Lukaku had thrown a bottle in the skirmish, and said: "Show evidence and punish him."

Romelu Lukaku and Jose Mourinho

When that was followed up with a question about whether he was confident his players behaved appropriately after the game, Mourinho said: "I know. I am not confident, I know."

City coach Mikel Arteta is understood to have suffered a cut to the face in the skirmish and Guardiola would not confirm any details of the alleged melee.

The Spaniard was adamant his players were well within their rights to try to enjoy their victory in their dressing room, but said he would be prepared to apologise if United considered the celebrations excessive.

"Sometimes Manchester United made a lot, in the past, celebrations over City. It is part of everything," Guardiola said ahead of tonight’s trip to Swansea.

"But if we were not correct, or something like that, then I apologise to all of Manchester United. Our intentions were not that.

"Our intentions were to celebrate, inside the locker room, our happiness because we were happy. If the people cannot understand that then I’m sorry.

"We were so happy, we won a derby. If in that way we offended United - not just one player, not (just) Jose - then I apologise. We have huge respect for our opponents - not just Manchester United, all the opponents."


 

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