Fans accuse Jose Mourinho of double standards in Antonio Conte touchline row
Jose Mourinho was already being roundly ridiculed by fans during his Manchester United side's 4-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, before appearing to accuse opposite number Antonio Conte of trying to humiliate him.
Mourinho took issue with the manner in which the Blues boss celebrated the fourth goal of the evening at Stamford Bridge, but fans have been quick to remind the Portuguese that he himself has been guilty of similar and worse behaviour down the years.
Both managers neither confirmed nor denied the version of events put to them by the press, though Conte attempted to explain the cheerleading behaviour to which Mourinho may have objected.
"I think that, today, it was right to call our fans 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.
"It's very normal."
Antonio Conte is using the team Mourinho created to beat Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/sQt27vs2jR— ❂ Yübbîę Umoh ❂ (@Yubbie007) October 23, 2016
Conte: Great Game Jose.— J!M (﹏) (@_JMOxQ) October 23, 2016
Mourinho: when they fire me, can I use you as reference on my next application? Please. pic.twitter.com/oXTLT1UfOV
Supporters on social media were merciless in the wake of Mourinho's dismal return to his former home, making particularly pointed reference him having 'parked the bus' - a derogatory expression he himself coined to denote defensive tactics for which, ironically, he has subsequently come to be known.
Another summer of huge transfer spending at Old Trafford and the arrival of stars such as Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave cause for optimism ahead of Mourinho's first season in charge, but also lowered fans' tolerance for the continuing inconsistencies that have plagued United for the past three seasons.
Mourinho: I'm parking the Bus at the bridge— KoloKK | #SocialGood (@KoloKennethK) October 23, 2016
Mourinho's own fans may put up with his moaning a while longer, but fans of other sides weren't about to let him off so easily after accusing Conte of over-celebrating.
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan coach has certainly proven himself to be a volatile presence on the touchline in his time as a manager, and his critics were quick to cite a chest-thumping celebration against Liverpool and a run around the pitch at Barcelona's Camp Nou as proof that this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Dear Mourinho remember when you did this at Camp nou? Why tell Conte such a thing..... pic.twitter.com/5zSLxA4YG9— Kelvin Isaac™ (@MegaMind1014) October 24, 2016
Mourinho complained about Conte on the touch line. Same guy that poked Tito Vilanova in the eye. Classy pic.twitter.com/a8c03mSNCx— XHAKA CAN! (@sickolia_) October 24, 2016
Manchester United fans themselves should be intimately aware of their boss' penchant wild touchline celebrations, given his iconic touchline sprint at Old Trafford in 2004 - when Mourinho's Porto side scored a late winner in a Champions League semi-final to eliminate United, en route to winning the tournament and gilding their manager's reputation for years to come.