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Premier League: reactions to the Brawl at the Bridge



Stamford Bridge
Stewards hold back Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho following
Chelsea’s last-minute equaliser

Chelsea 2 Manchester United 2
Chelsea and Manchester United shared the spoils on Saturday but
the dramatic 2-2 draw was overshadowed by an extraordinary brawl
at the Bridge.
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At the centre of the confrontation, inevitably, was Jose Mourinho,
although the United manager for once didn’t provoke the
pandemonium. That dishonour went to Maurizio Sarri’s assistant
coach, Marco Ianni, whose wild celebrations in front of the United
dugout made Mourinho mad.
United, who went a goal down in the first-half when Antonio Rudiger
headed the hosts in front, fought back after the break with two goals
from Anthony Martial. But just as Mourinho and his men thought they
had inflicted the first Premier League defeat of the season on the
Blues, Ross Barkley levelled in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Apology accepted
BBC Sport footage showed Ianni running along the touchline in front
of the United dugout before returning and pumping his fist in front of
Mourinho.
That was too much for United boss, who leapt from his seat and
“chased Ianni down into the tunnel as the argument erupted between
the two sides”.
Stewards were forced to get involved as tempers flared and words
were exchanged, but Mourinho explained later that Sarri had
smoothed his ruffled feathers.
“Sarri was first to come to me and say he would resolve the problem
internally with him,” said Mourinho. “His assistant came to me in
Sarri’s office and apologised to me. I said ‘if you really feel that way I
accept your apology and forget it, because I also made lots of
mistakes in my career. I’m not going to kill you because of one’. He
apologised and I accepted it.”
Further action
Whether that will be the last we hear of the incident remains to be
seen, the Daily Express reports, which says that FA could take
further action against Ianni or Mourinho for the ugly scenes that
spoiled an otherwise exciting encounter.
Not that a draw does either club much good, with Chelsea now two
points behind Liverpool and Manchester City, both of whom won on
Saturday.
What they said about the ‘Brawl at the Bridge’
Gary Neville: “For me, over-enthusiastic celebrations are a part of the
game, but I also think that if you’re on the end of it, you should be
able to react. We can sit here and say it’s ridiculous that these
managers react, but what you saw at the end was raw emotion.”
Alan Pardew : “This guy - the second coach or whoever he is - his first
action is unacceptable and the second action is also doubly
unacceptable.”
Jamie Redknapp : “You’ve just conceded a last-minute equaliser, it
hurts. I don’t always stick up for him [Mourinho], or feel he conducts
himself in the right way, but I get it. There’s passion involved, it’s
high-stakes, he’s under enormous pressure.”
Paul Parker : “When you look on the Chelsea part of it, he [Ianni] did it
on two occasions – it was completely ridiculous, embarrassing and
Chelsea should deal with him internally. But Jose should’ve known
better than to react in that way because all he did was give everyone
what they wanted, and that’s the way it worked out.”
Premier League results and fixtures
Weekend results
Chelsea 2 Manchester United 2
AFC Bournemouth 0 Southampton 0
Cardiff City 4 Fulham 2
Manchester City 5 Burnley 0
Newcastle United 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
West Ham United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Watford 2
Huddersfield Town 0 Liverpool 1
Everton 2 Crystal Palace 0
Tonight’s fixture
Arsenal vs. Leicester City (8pm, live on Sky Sports )

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