Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has apologised for the ugly touchline spat with Jose Mourinho during his team’s defeat at Stamford Bridge last weekend, although claims he was provoked by his Chelsea counterpart.
Wenger and Mourinho clashed after a robust challenge from Gary Cahill on Alexis Sanchez, with the England defender fortunate to have only received a yellow card. The Frenchman certainly thought so.
Both managers had expressed their innocence in their respective press conferences after the encounter, which Chelsea had won 2-0, although Wenger has now conceded that he should not have behaved in such a manner.
But the Gunners boss is not prepared to shoulder full responsibility for the incident, and has blamed Mourinho for sparking the fracas, during which both managers traded pushes in the Chelsea technical area.
“They gave too much importance to this story,” Wenger told Telefoot.
“In hindsight I think I should not have reacted at all, it’s not a way to behave on a football field.
“I always regret any signs of violence and I apologise, but that’s a part of games where everything is manic.
“And then we have quite a substantial past. Did Mourinho provoke me? That is how I felt. I did not enter Chelsea’s technical area.”
Arsenal had been in the ascendancy before Wenger became so incensed, and things soon began to unravel for the visitors, who were never really able to get back into the game from that moment on.
Eden Hazard converted a penalty having been fouled by Laurent Koscielny and, while Arsenal had plenty of the ball in the second period, they were unable to create a chance of note.
This inability to use the ball effectively cost them dearly in the latter stages when Diego Costa latched onto Cesc Fabregas’ pass to end any hopes the visitors had of a result.