Maurizio Sarri has shared his view on Jose Mourinho since touchline spat in October


The first meeting between Maurizio Sarri and Jose Mourinho in late October was certainly one to remember.

Chelsea and Manchester United played out an enthralling match at Stamford Bridge that appeared certain to end 2-1 in favour of the visitors before up stepped Ross Barkley.

His 96th-minute equaliser triggered delirium around the stadium, nowhere less than the technical area shared by the two managers and their respective staff.

Chelsea coach Marco Ianni took his celebration slightly too far when he ran past Mourinho and his posse, pumping his fists and cheering in their direction as they absorbed the disappointment of dropping two points.

Naturally, those on the United bench were having none of it and leapt from their seats to retaliate.

Much was made of the ensuing brawl, with fingers being pointed at both parties for their unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Regardless of who was more at fault, the incident has led some to believe it could be a sign of what’s to come in future contests between Sarri and Mourinho.

However, when asked where he stands with his United counterpart, the Chelsea boss offered a diplomatic response.


"Mourinho is a man of extraordinary human qualities," he said, per the Mirror.

"It made an excellent impression on the day of the Stamford Bridge match when the incident involving one of my assistants occurred. On the professional level, there is little to say.”

While Sarri’s kind words might come as somewhat of a surprise, they do echo the stance he took a few days after the clash.

He was seen breaking up the scuffle and later approaching Mourinho to clarify what happened.

At the time, Sarri claimed: “As I said after the match, we were wrong.

“I was there when Marco spoke to Jose Mourinho and he said sorry immediately. It was very important that he realised he was wrong. So I want to give him another opportunity because I know that he was really sorry and he realised it was a mistake.”

In contrast to Chelsea allowing Sarri to deal with Ianni as he deemed appropriate, the FA took a less forgiving stance.

The 36-year-old was charged with improper conduct and fined £6,000, though he’s probably more concerned about the reception awaiting him when the Blues visit Old Trafford in April.

It may be a while off yet, but football fans tend not to forget or forgive the kind of mistake Ianni is guilty of.

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