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Antonio Conte has explained why he didn’t shake Jose Mourinho’s hand after their latest Premier League encounter where the Blues won the Red Devil’s 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho and Conte during an EPL match
Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte failed to shake Jose Mourinho’s hand on Sunday evening after their Premier League clash, before explaining the snub and taking a dig at the Manchester United manager.
Conte was able to get the better of Mourinho in a 1-0 victory on his latest return to his former club thanks to a marvellous Alvaro Morata header, which came midway through the second half when Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross from the right found the striker in acres of space and the talent to put the ball where United goalkeeper David De Gea could not reach it.
Despite a late United rally as Mourinho threw on Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial in the hope of an equalizer, Chelsea hung on for a deserved victory, and Conte wildly celebrated the result at the full-time whistle.
Mourinho immediately moved towards the Chelsea dug-out, waiting on their side of the players’ tunnel, but while the rest of the Blues’ staff walked over to shake his hand, Conte headed onto the pitch to celebrate with his players.
“You want me to go and chase him in the middle of the pitch? I was there,” Mourinho said afterward.
“I shook hands with the people who were there. I think one of them was his brother, the assistant, so I feel that, by shaking the hands of his brother and the other assistants, I did my duty. I cannot go and run to chase him.”
Conte though brushed off any suggestion that he had disrespected Mourinho by not shaking his hand and said that the gesture is “not important” in the grand scheme of things as he cared more about the result and the implications it has on the Premier League title race.
“It’s not important. It’s important to win the game,” Conte said. “You have to have the respect on the pitch, not outside the pitch.”
The Italian added: “It’s an important victory. When you play against Manchester United it’s always a massive game.
“We know very well this team is very strong. This type of win is important for our confidence. We showed great desire and passion to win this kind of game.
“We can win or lose but our spirit must be this. Last season our spirit was in every game – we started this season with a lot of problems. We were up and down. This game showed if we want we can.”