Jose Mourinho attempts to confront Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni following the equaliser at Stamford Bridge. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Jose Mourinho had good reason to lose his cool after Chelsea second assistant coach Marco Ianni had gestured towards him following Ross Barkley’s equaliser.

Many opposition fans love to hate Manchester United boss Mourinho, a proven winner around Europe, but facing an uphill struggle to get the Red Devils back on track this season.

But the 55-year-old Portuguese had said that he wouldn’t “celebrate like crazy” if United were to score or win at Stamford Bridge.

Yet, that is exactly what Ianni did to him after Barkley’s goal, which sparked ugly scenes near the dug-out as Mourinho tried to ‘go after’ the 36-year-old Italian.

Ianni’s actions were in poor taste, as he had tried to rub in the face of the former Chelsea boss on his old stomping ground that his United side had just had what would’ve been a sensational victory wrenched from their grasp.

Yet, even immediately following the game, Mourinho accepted apologies from both Ianni and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

And on Monday, even after the Football Association charged Ianni for the incident, Mourinho came out to bat for him once more amid calls for his sacking.

“I want to thank Sarri for his honesty. I want to thank Chelsea for its honesty too – but I am not happy that it is going too far with the young boy,” the Man United manager was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“I don’t think he deserves more than what he got. He apologised to me, I accept his apologies. I think he deserves a second chance. I don’t think he deserves to be sacked. I don’t think he deserves anything more than the fact his club was strong with him.

“I hope everybody does the same as I did, which is not to disturb the career of a young guy. Probably he is a great guy, a coach with great potential.

“End of story with me, is the minute he apologised to me. Let the boy work. Everybody makes mistakes – I made a lot of mistakes.”

Mourinho sat slumped in his chair at pitchside as Barkley scored in the sixth minute of stoppage time, and it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he was sitting on a chair in his bedroom that night either in contemplating the cruel way in which a rare United triumph at Chelsea was ripped away.

And things don’t get any easier, with former Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo bringing his Juventus team to Old Trafford for Tuesday night’s Champions League clash.

But while his team are languishing in 10th position, Mourinho showed that he is not the sourpuss he is often made out to be in how he dealt with the aftermath of the Ianni incident.


IOL Sport