Tempers flared in the tunnel after Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford, in which City extended their lead at the top to eleven points with a win against United.
Multiple sources on Sunday night reported that there was a serious altercation between players and coaches on both sides, with bottles and punches thrown and even an instance of bloodshed.
Sky sources: Jose Mourinho involved in confrontation with Manchester City players in tunnel after Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. #SSN
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 10, 2017
According to the Telegraph, Man United manager Jose Mourinho, already feeling wronged by his side being denied a penalty in the 79th minute, went to the Man City dressing room after the game to castigate the visitors for showing a lack of respect by celebrating loudly after the win, after which he became embroiled in a heated argument with City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes.
The row is believed to have escalated severely from there, with Mourinho reportedly hit with a plastic bottle and doused in milk as all hell broke loose. Mailsport reported that as many as twenty men in total were involved in the fracas as players from both teams joined in, in full view of witnesses. Man United security were eventually able to separate the melee and all concerned returned to their respective dressing rooms.
While the reports convey a relatively mild incident, the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor suggested that the incident was far more serious than many might have realised with Man City coach Mikel Arteta getting a facial injury- and fingers Romelu Lukaku as having a big role to play in the overall incident:
This bust-up in the tunnel at Old Trafford today. It wasn’t handbags: Mikel Arteta was left with blood pouring down face. Bottles as well as punches thrown. Romelu Lukaku prominently involved, according to witnesses.
— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) December 10, 2017
There will almost certainly be more to come from the incident, with both clubs probably making statements on Monday in light of the allegations.