Arsene Wenger hits back at Jose Mourinho, calling his remarks 'silly' and 'disrespectful', adding that they bring 'embarrassment' on Chelsea
Arsenal manager responds to latest attack as his side beat Liverpool 2-1 after penalty storm
The Emirates Stadium
Monday 17 February 2014
Arsène Wenger hit back at Jose Mourinho on Sunday night, claiming that the latter was an embarrassment to Chelsea and “silly” and “disrespectful” for his latest attack on him.
As the animosity between the pair deepened, Wenger responded for the first time to Mourinho’s “specialist in failure” comments on Friday in the aftermath of Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round, when the visitors felt aggrieved not to be awarded a second penalty by referee Howard Webb.
“I do not want to go into those silly, disrespectful remarks,” Wenger said immediately after the game. “I never spoke about him in my press conference and I will not start that. The only thing that I know, it is more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me.”
In his post-match press conference the Arsenal manager was just as unimpressed with what Mourinho had said. “I am embarrassed for him, honestly,” Wenger insisted, again denying he had said anything to insult Mourinho in the first place. “I would say that I didn’t speak about him at all in my press conference [on Friday]. Let’s focus on things in football. I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me.”
Wenger made clear his disdain for this particular outbreak of “mind games” but predicted that the issue would not go away quickly. “I cannot force my interest in things that are not interesting for me, what is interesting for me is what happens on the pitch,” he said. “There is no final word in this, unfortunately.”
Mourinho had refused to apologise after Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, stating he was well within his rights to criticise his Arsenal rival.
Wenger was delighted with his side’s progress to the sixth round, where they will face Everton at home. “It was vital to respond to the disappointing performance at Liverpool last week,” he said. “I am very pleased with the intensity, commitment and determination.”
Arsenal went into a two-goal lead through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski before Steven Gerrard pulled one back from the spot after Luis Suarez was fouled. Webb could easily have awarded another penalty for another trip on the striker soon afterwards.
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, claimed that the incident was an even more obvious penalty than the first one. “The first one, Luis gets clipped and it’s a clear penalty. The second one was even clearer,” Rodgers said. “Howard is in a great position, I am not sure if it is because it was so quickly after the first one.
“It looked like a blatant penalty and we are bitterly disappointed to have not got that. It would be nice to know why it wasn’t given as it was a defining moment in the game.”
Wenger, though, suggested that Suarez had made the most of it. “Was it really genuine contact? It was contact I don’t deny that, but Suarez is very good at making more of it every time.”
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Pair finally meet at NBA game and shake hands, will the fight be announced during Super Bowl?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea new deal; Gareth Bale on speculation; Wilfried Zaha exit
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures