Manchester United and Manchester City have been asked by the Football Association to give their explanations for the brawl which ensued in the Old Trafford tunnel/dressing rooms following Sunday’s derby.
The FA have requested that both clubs put on record their view of the incident by Wednesday.
It has been widely reported that United boss Jose Mourinho was struck with milk and squirted with water as he entered the away dressing room to order the City players and staff to tone down their celebrations. With music blaring and noise booming out of the 2-1 winners’ changing room after going eleven points clear at the top of the table in a game which was a Premier League record 14th win in-a-row, Mourinho was believed to be livid, insisting his rivals were over-celebrating purposely.
The Portuguese is reported to have had a fiery verbal exchange with City goalkeeper Ederson in the dressing room before a chaotic brawl spilled out into the tunnel involving players and management from both sides, leaving City coach Mikel Arteta with blood pumping from his head.
Speaking in front of the media today both Mourinho and City boss Pep Guardiola were asked about the incident, to which the pair responded in a different fashion.
Jose, reported to have been heavily involved in the hectic scene, remained coy on the matter, giving a cryptic response when probed, taking aim at his rivals who he claimed to be “lucky” to come away with all three points at the weekend.
“The only thing I can say is that for me was just a question of diversity – diversity in behaviour, diversity in education, just that and nothing more,” he said.
Guardiola explained in his press conference that there were indeed heavy celebrations in his team’s dressing room following the important victory, even going so far as to say he encouraged his players to enjoy the moment with loud celebrations having just defeated their biggest and closest rivals at their own home.
“I am the guy who encouraged them to celebrate it in that moment but between each other. That is what we did.
“After what happened, hopefully it cannot happen again.
“What happened we will explain to the FA investigation. United will do the same,” the Spaniard continued.
“We will make a statement to the FA. I am not going to comment about that.”
The ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager provided valid reasoning for his players’ joyous actions, citing the importance of the victory over their nearest title challengers.
“So do people expect we are not going to celebrate?
“No, we celebrated but I think like when United win a derby they celebrated, when Arsenal win against United they celebrated. But where? Inside the dressing room.
“It was correct. We hugged and jumped because we were happy,” said Guardiola.