The rivalry between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho got even deeper after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat of Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as both men failed to carry out the customary handshake.
Chelsea manager Conte chose not to partake in the post-match tradition, despite Mourinho waiting at the tunnel for him on his return to his former club.
Instead, an elated Conte pumped his fist in the direction of the fans to celebrate his team’s well-deserved 1-0 win and then headed onto the pitch to greet his victorious players.
Speaking on the incident post-match, Mourinho said he couldn’t be chasing his Italian nemesis around for a handshake, Metro writes.
“He disappeared. So I shook with his assistants which for me is basically the same,” he said.
When asked about the snub, Conte replied that all that mattered was winning and not ‘respect outside the pitch’.
“It’s not important. It’s important to win the game. You have to have the respect on the pitch, not outside the pitch.”
It is the latest in a series of fractious exchanges between the pair since Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s dismal title defence in Mourinho’s second spell at the club.
The Italian had warned his players he didn’t want another ‘Mourinho season’ when he first arrived, and Mourinho famously berated him for celebrating excessively on his Stamford bridge return last season.
Prior to the game, Sunday, former Italy coach Conte stated that they were not friends after Mourinho aimed jibes at him for ‘crying’ over injured players.
The win for Chelsea moved them back into the top four, one point behind Manchester United and nine adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.