No com­ment

> Mour­inho, Conte keep mum over touch­line spat af­ter Blues ham­mer United at the Bridge <

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER UNITED man­ager Jose Mour­inho and Chelsea coun­ter­part An­to­nio Conte re­fused to di­vulge the con­tent of a terse touch­line ex­change be­tween them af­ter the Lon­don club’s 4-0 win.

Prior to walk­ing down the tun­nel fol­low­ing yes­ter­day’s game, stony-faced for­mer Chelsea man­ager Mour­inho cupped Conte’s head and spent a good while whis­per­ing in the Ital­ian’s left ear.

Pitch-side mi­cro­phones sug­gested Mour­inho had ac­cused Conte, in Ital­ian, of try­ing to “hu­mil­i­ate” his side by urg­ing the home fans to make more noise, but the United man­ager re­fused to go into de­tail.

“You know me. I spoke to Conte, not to you,” Mour­inho told his post-match press con­fer­ence.

“I’m not the kind of guy to come here and share with you things I don’t want to share.

“What is be­tween me and An­to­nio is for us, or up to him to talk if he wants to. That is his prob­lem. I have no com­ment.”

Conte was also re­luc­tant to dis­cuss the mat­ter, al­though he de­fended him­self for whip­ping up the crowd af­ter N’Golo Kante had waltzed through the United de­fence to score Chelsea’s fourth goal.

“I think that, to­day, it was right to call our fans,” he said.

“In a mo­ment I was lis­ten­ing only to the sup­port­ers of Manch­ester United at 4-0.

“So I called the fans to give the play­ers a great clap af­ter this kind of per­for­mance. The play­ers, af­ter a 4-0 win, de­served a great clap.

“We live with emo­tions. If you want to cut the emo­tions, we can stay at home and I will change jobs.”

Mour­inho was re­turn­ing to the scene of some of his great­est tri­umphs as a man­ager, but left af­ter be­ing con­signed to his heav­i­est loss since Real Madrid’s 5-0 hu­mil­i­a­tion by Barcelona in Novem­ber 2010.

It took Chelsea just 30 sec­onds to go ahead, Pe­dro Ro­driguez nip­ping in be­hind an inat­ten­tive Chris Smalling to score.

“We made an in­cred­i­ble de­fen­sive mis­take – I say in­cred­i­ble in cap­i­tals,” said Mour­inho.

Lax mark­ing at a cor­ner al­lowed Gary Cahill to lash home the hosts’ sec­ond in the 21st minute.

Eden Haz­ard and Kante fur­ther in­flated Chelsea’s lead in the sec­ond half and Mour­inho’s mis­ery was com­pounded by what he de­scribed as a “re­ally bad” knee lig­a­ment in­jury to Eric Bailly.

Chelsea might also have lost a cen­tre­back had ref­eree Martin Atkin­son taken a dim­mer view of a knee-high foul on Marouane Fel­laini by David Luiz shortly be­fore half­time, for which he was booked.

The re­sult left United five points be­hind fourth-place Chelsea and six points be­low lead­ers Manch­ester City in sev­enth place, but Mour­inho tried to ap­ply a pos­i­tive gloss to his team’s po­si­tion.

“We are six points from the top of the league. We are not 16 points,” he said.

“We are maybe three, max­i­mum four, from the top four (ac­tu­ally five). We are not 30 or 40. So we are there.

“We are there with very dif­fi­cult fix­tures in a week where we’ve played away to two can­di­dates (hav­ing pre­vi­ously drawn 0-0 at Liver­pool).

“I’m not say­ing the matches com­ing up are easy. Far from it. But we have to beat op­po­nents from mid-ta­ble that we are go­ing to have now. Burn­ley, Swansea, Sun­der­land, Mid­dles­brough – they’re dif­fi­cult, but we need points from these matches.

“The top teams play against each other so they have to lose points, so in the end we’ll be around.”

Chelsea have won three suc­ces­sive league games with­out con­ced­ing a goal since Conte switched to a 3-4-3 for­ma­tion du­ra­tion their 3-0 de­feat at Arse­nal.

“Af­ter this type of win, usu­ally it in­creases your con­fi­dence. You trust more in the work you’re do­ing. That’s the most im­por­tant thing,” said Conte, whose side visit West Ham United in the League Cup to­mor­row.

“But we must con­tinue. The United vic­tory is the past. We must con­cen­trate on Wed­nes­day and an­other tough game against West Ham.”

Manch­ester United goal­keeper David De Gea looks de­jected af­ter Gary Cahill scored Chelsea’s sec­ond goal dur­ing yes­ter­day’s English Pre­mier League Match at Stam­ford Bridge in Lon­don. – Reuters

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