Jose Mourinho believes there would have been harsh punishment if he had pushed Arsene Wenger, after the FA decided not to act following the incident during Chelsea’s Premier League victory over Arsenal earlier this month.
Wenger was angered by a challenge made on Alexis Sanchez and moved into Mourinho’s technical area to, he claims, see if the £30million summer signing was alright, but the Blues boss intercepted him and got a shove in the process.
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The FA decided no further action was required – it wasn’t a particularly violent encounter and was a very brief exchange – but Mourinho has now suggested things could have been different if the tables were turned.
“I’d have been banned for what Arsene Wenger did to me,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“I gave you my reaction after the match, saying nothing had happened. The reaction from everyone else was saying nothing had happened.
“Am I surprised he wasn’t punished? I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised. Charged? Charged? If it was me, it would have been a stadium ban!’’
Whether Mourinho is correct in what he supposes cannot be known, but Wenger later apologised for the use of physical force – though, notably, he did not apologise to his counterpart at Chelsea.
In what was a tense match, the Gunners came out second best and were downed by a penalty from Eden Hazard and a fine goal by man of the moment, Diego Costa.
The summer addition from Atletico Madrid was set up by another new arrival and former Arsenal captain, Cesc Fabregas, adding further significance to the goal that sealed the win.
Wenger was upset about an early challenge by Gary Cahill that he thought warranted a red card, but the key to the match was his attacking players not being at their best and being unable to find a way through the Chelsea defence, despite having much of the ball.
The defeat left Arsenal nine points behind Chelsea at the summit of the Premier League – a deficit that may well be too large to bridge, even at this early stage of the season.