Mourinho v Conte: All smiles and handshakes on the touchline as feud cools

After Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho indulged in a war of words, all eyes were on them during Manchester United's win over Chelsea.

Published : Feb 25, 2018 23:43 IST

Manchester United emerged 2-1 victors over Chelsea on Sunday, as Jose Mourinho got the better of arch-rival Antonio Conte.

The two managers have had a fractious relationship since taking up their current posts, with the pair trading barbs on several different occasions.

Mourinho previously criticised Conte for his touchline behaviour and spoke of his "contempt" for the Italian, while the Chelsea boss called his rival a "little man".

Although neither managed to antagonise the other in the build-up, all eyes were on Mourinho and Conte as United and Chelsea faced off at Old Trafford.



There was little focus on their feud in the two managers' pre-match interviews, with Conte instead asked about the significance of starting Alvaro Morata in attack.

"Putting [Eden] Hazard on the wing, I think makes you more offensive," he told Sky Sports. "It's different playing Hazard as a number nine than to play with a number 10 with Hazard. You have to find the balance in every situation to understand the team you're playing and the game you want to play."

And Mourinho stressed the importance of avoiding individual errors.

"In the first match [last season] it was a bad red card for us," Mourinho added. "A few months ago it was a bad defensive mistake [that cost United], so details can make a difference in games between very good players."

Mourinho then personally greeted many of the Chelsea players in the tunnel as they waited to head out. Kidology or sincerity? 

Meanwhile, Conte waited on the touchline and subsequently shared a strong handshake with his rival.



5: Conte reacts in astonishment as Alvaro Morata hits the crossbar from close range, applauding the Spaniard in aggressive fashion.

13: The Italian shouts and points over to the opposite flank as Marcos Alonso runs past him.

18: Mourinho and Conte prowl their technical boxes and appear to share a joke, showing off two of the widest grins.

32: Willian slams past David de Gea to give Chelsea the lead. Conte clenches his fists triumphantly, turning around to face the two dugouts while celebrating.

39: Romelu Lukaku equalises against his former club, provoking little response from a pacing Mourinho.

45: Mourinho gets angry with Chelsea's players for surrounding the referee after Nemanja Matic left Morata in a heap. The Portuguese manager is told to stand down by the fourth official as he heads for the tunnel at the break.



54: With De Gea given plenty of time to pick a pass, Conte suddenly becomes animated on the touchline and yells at Willian, who swiftly closes the United goalkeeper down.

64: Jesse Lingard is introduced from the bench, with the nearby Conte looking bored as he stares down at the ground. Mourinho barks instructions at Matic.

75: Lingard makes a brilliant impact, heading in Lukaku's pinpoint cross. Much like with their first goal, Mourinho's reaction is somewhat muted.

80: Eric Bailly makes his return from a long-term injury, heading on with a hand-written note from Mourinho for Matic, who has to hide it from the mischievous Willian.

89: A frustrated Conte has a word with the fourth official and then shouts towards the referee, pointing at his watch as De Gea takes his time over a goal-kick.

90+1: "Only four minutes?" Conte complains to the match officials about the amount of time added on.

90+3: Mourinho turns to the supporters and celebrates more than he did for either goal in response to a lung-busting Lukaku run that only yields a throw-in. 



The two managers shook hands and Mourinho tried to place his hand on the back of Conte's head during their embrace, but the Italian turned around so quickly he managed to avoid the contact.

United fans chanted Mourinho's name as he then headed towards the tunnel. The manager raised his hands in appreciation, before pointing to his players.

Mourinho's feud with Conte was brought up in his post-match news conference and he appeared keen to cool things, though he accepts the pair "have a history".

"The handshake doesn't need any words," Mourinho said. "That's what me and Antonio want to show to everyone. We are not two ordinary people in football. We have a history."

The handshake also came up in Conte's news conference, suggesting it was done for show.

He said: "I repeat, you wanted to see the handshake. Now I stop."

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