Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger attempted to play down his touchline confrontation with Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho during his side’s 2-0 Premier League defeat on Sunday.
The two men clashed in front of the dug-outs after Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez went down under a challenge from Gary Cahill mid-way through the first half, with Wenger pushing Mourinho in the chest.
The two men were separated by fourth official Jonathan Moss – Mourinho telling Wenger to “back off” – but although the Frenchman could now face disciplinary action from the Football Association, he made light of the incident.
Asked if he regretted pushing Mourinho, Wenger told his post-match press conference: “No. What is to regret after that?
“I wanted to go from A to B and somebody confronted me in between without any sign of welcome. B was Sanchez, to see how badly he was injured.”
Wenger has a history of bad blood with Mourinho, who has never been beaten by the Arsenal manager in 12 encounters and has branded him a “specialist in failure”.
“Honestly I don’t listen to what he says,” Wenger said.
“Look, I trust you that you (the media) will teach me all the moral lessons over the next three weeks. And I can accept that.”
Wenger said that his push had been “a little one”, adding: “I can try to push you. You can see when I really try to push.”
The two men did not shake hands at the final whistle, with Mourinho heading down the tunnel first, but the Chelsea manager said he had “no problem” with Wenger despite their altercation.
“Forget that. A football pitch is a football pitch, so no problem,” he said.
“It becomes heated because this is a big game, big clubs, big rivals, (an) important match for both teams. These conditions make a game of emotions.
“There are two technical areas: one for me, one for him. He was coming to my technical area and he was not coming for the right reasons.
“He was not coming to give some tactical instructions or something. He was coming to press the referee to give a red card (to Cahill) and I didn’t like that.”
The provocative Mourinho is no stranger to controversy, while Wenger has been involved in similar incidents with Alan Pardew, who was managing West Ham United at the time, and former Tottenham Hotspur coach Martin Jol.