Five of the best: Touchline scraps

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Although Sir Alex Ferguson is renowned for his somewhat fiery personality it is very rare that, in almost 40 years of management, he has been embroiled in a touchline scuffle with a counterpart.

But, as tempers flared at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night, the Manchester United manager was involved in an ugly spat with Roberto Mancini, and the pair had to be separated by fourth official Mike Jones.

Ferguson complained Mancini had 'refereed the game' during Manchester City's crucial 1-0 triumph, while the latter sarcastically suggested the United boss would never indulge in such tactics himself.

While it is hardly becoming to for the standard bearers of football clubs to lose their cool in public, it does make for extra drama and excitement for supporters.

There have been plenty of touchline scraps over the years and, following on from the tete-a-tete between Ferguson and Mancini, GMF takes a look back at some memorable altercations involving managers and coaching staff…

Alan Pardew v Arsene Wenger

West Ham 1-0 Arsenal, November 5 2006

Arsene Wenger has a tendency to allow his frustrations to boil over when Arsenal are struggling but, to be fair to the Frenchman on this occasion, he reacted only to provocation from Alan Pardew.

West Ham were battling relegation when Arsenal arrived at Upton Park on Guy Fawkes Night, and secured an unexpected three points when Marlon Harewood scored in an explosive finish.

Harewood's winner prompted Pardew and his coaching staff into joyous jigs on the touchline, and the Hammers boss deliberately revelled in victory directly in the view of Wenger.

It all got too much for the Arsenal manager, who then became involved in a shoving match with Pardew, which culminated in a fine and warning from the Football Association.

Roberto Mancini v David Moyes

Manchester City 0-2 Everton, March 24 2010

Roberto Mancini and David Moyes resembled two boys squabbling in the school playground when they clashed at the Etihad Stadium during the former's first season in Manchester.

Moyes took the role of playground bully and Mancini that of waif-like academic who had finally plucked the courage to stand up to his tormentor; flapping furiously at the Everton boss in an attempt to recover the ball from his grasp.

Thankfully, faithful old schoolmaster Howard Webb was on hand to prevent the incident from escalating, although the bully had the last laugh as Everton triumphed 2-0.

Neil Lennon v Ally McCoist

Celtic 3-0 Rangers, March 2 2011

Red cards in Old Firm derbies may not be an unexpected occurrence, but this Scottish Cup encounter was notable for seeing three Rangers players given their marching orders.

Yet it will also be remembered for a post-match flare-up involving the now respective managers of the Glasgow rivals, Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist, when the latter was No.2 to Walter Smith at Ibrox.

Upon the full-time whistle, both came together to shake hands and embrace but, in the blink of an eye, the respectful atmosphere became toxic as a notably incensed Lennon snarled in the face of his counterpart.

The pair had to be hauled apart by the coaching staff of each team, although Lennon said after the game that the matter was 'closed'.

Jose Mourinho v Tito Vilanova

Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid, August 17 2011

Like Lennon v McCoist, this incident between Jose Mourinho took place while Tito Vilanova was assistant to Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, but he will ascend to the Nou Camp throne at the end of the season.

As so often has been the case during Clasicos since the arrival of Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu, this encounter will be remembered more for histrionics and indiscipline than the thrilling on-field action.

A wild tackle by Marcelo on Cesc Fabregas in the final minute prompted a melee involving both benches, which saw David Villa punch Mesut Ozil and Mourinho clash with Vilanova.

The Real boss stalked up behind Guardiola's No.2 and proceeded to gouge him in the eye, before Vilanova responded by pushing Mourinho, but neither faced sanction from the Spanish FA.

Alan Pardew v Martin O'Neill

Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland, March 4 2012

Fast forward almost six years from the spat involving Alan Pardew and Arsene Wenger at Upton Park, and the former was at it again in similar circumstances with Martin O'Neill.

A late leveller for Newcastle in a fiercely contested Tyne-Wear derby at St James' Park saw Pardew celebrate in aggressive fashion; fist pumping in a deliberately provocative manner in order to irk O'Neill.

The Sunderland boss took the bait from his counterpart, and several angry words were exchanged as the pair had to be separated.

Are there any other touchline scraps that stick in your memory? Let us know in the comments section below...

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