Mourinho's previous PL managerial rivalries after Solskjaer spat

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now enemy No 1 for Jose Mourinho: After ‘voyeur’ Wenger and ‘hair-losing’ Conte rows, he turns to his Man United successor – and even jibes over fatherhood are on the table

  • Jose Mourinho hit out at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his Son Heung-min remarks
  • Solskjaer was unhappy with Son during Manchester United’s disallowed opener
  • Tottenham boss Mourinho hit back at his United counterpart in defending Son
  • This isn’t the first time Mourinho has publicly barbed a Premier League manager 

Jose Mourinho produced another explosive press conference on Sunday when he hit out at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over his comments about Son Heung-min.

Mourinho was irked after Solskjaer said he would not feed his son if he had behaved like Son Heung-min during Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Tottenham.

Solskjaer was unhappy when Son went down holding his face after being fended off by Scott McTominay in the build-up to an Edinson Cavani goal which referee Chris Kavanagh controversially ruled out after a VAR intervention.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) and Jose Mourinho were involved in a war of words on Sunday

Solskjaer accused Son-Heung min (bottom) of ‘conning’ United out of a goal on Sunday

Son went to ground before Edinson Cavani’s goal, having been caught by Scott McTominay

The incident did not matter too much as after Son put Spurs in front, United hit back in style after the interval courtesy of Fred, Cavani and Mason Greenwood to leave north London victorious.

But the Norwegian was unhappy with Son after the game and said: ‘We shouldn’t be conned. If my son stayed down for three minutes and needed 10 mates to help him up, he wouldn’t get any food.’

Mourinho, perhaps as a diversion tactic after a damaging defeat, brought the matter up himself in his post-match press conference and also accused journalists of lacking ‘moral honesty’ for not asking him about it.

He said: ‘First of all, let me tell you something. I’m very, very surprised that after the comments that Ole made on Sonny, you don’t ask me about it.

‘Because – and I told Ole already this because I met him just a few minutes ago – if it’s me, telling that player A, B or C from another club, if it was my son I wouldn’t give him dinner tonight, what would be the reaction of that?

Mourinho and Solskjaer exchanged words on the touchline after United’s goal was disallowed

‘It’s very, very sad. I think it’s really sad that you don’t ask me about that. It’s sad you don’t have the moral honesty to treat me the same way as you treat others.

‘In relation to that, I just want to say that Sonny is very lucky that his father is a better person than Ole. I am a father. I think as a father you have always to feed your kids. Doesn’t matter what they do. If you have to steal to feed your kids, you steal.

‘I’m very, very disappointed. As we say in Portugal, bread is bread and cheese is cheese. I told Ole already what I think about his comments and I’m very disappointed that in five, six, seven questions you ignore the dimensions of that comment.’

This isn’t the first time that the Tottenham boss has engaged in a high-profile dispute with a Premier League top-four rival as Sportsmail looks back at some of the most notorious… 

Solskjaer insisted his son would not have got any food if he’d reacted in the same way as Son

Without doubt the most high-profile and bitter of disputes is Jose Mourinho versus Arsene Wenger.

Upon Mourinho’s initial arrival into English football as Chelsea manager in 2004, Arsenal were the team to beat having won the 2003-04 Premier League title with their legendary Invincibles.

After Mourinho dethroned Wenger and Arsenal in 2004-05, the first real war or words came the following season with Wenger initiating it.

Arsene Wenger and Mourinho had a frosty relationship on the touchline during their clashes

‘I know we live in a world where we have only winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger,’ the Frenchman quipped about Mourinho’s defensive tactics in August 2005.

Mourinho hit back two months later as he blasted Wenger as a ‘voyeur’ after Chelsea’s lavish spending was criticised.

‘Wenger has a real problem with us and I think he is what you call in England a voyeur,’ he hit back.

‘He is someone who likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have this big telescope to look into the homes of other people and see what is happening. Wenger must be one of them – it is a sickness.’

This barb from Mourinho stung Wenger who consulted his lawyers over taking legal action. ‘He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful,’ he blasted back in November 2005. ‘When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.’

Wenger’s threats of legal action were welcomed by Mourinho who continued the verbal joust: ‘At Stamford Bridge, we have a file of quotes from Mr Wenger about Chelsea football club in the last 12 months – it is not a file of five pages. It is a file of 120 pages.’

Mourinho was threatened with legal action by Wenger after calling him a ‘voyeur’ in 2005

More barbs would follow over the ensuing years and these were ramped up again once Mourinho returned to English football with Chelsea in the summer of 2013.

That 2013-14 season saw the rivals competing with Manchester City and Liverpool for the title and, after some more bitter barbs between the pair over the New Year period, Mourinho firmly stuck the boot in February 2014.

On Valentine’s Day 2014 there was no love lost between the two as Mourinho lambasted his Arsenal counterpart as a ‘specialist in failure’.

The Chelsea boss was responding to the Arsenal manager’s claim that other Premier League bosses were playing down their title chances because they ‘fear to fail’.

Chelsea held a one-point lead over the Gunners at the top of the table, with the north London outfit approaching nine years without a trophy.

Mourinho said: ‘If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure.’

‘He’s a specialist in failure,’ continued Mourinho. ‘If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.’

Mourinho called Wenger a ‘specailist in failure’ during an explosive 2014 Valentine’s Day rant

Just a month later the two teams would meet at Stamford Bridge and Mourinho’s side demolished their bitter rivals, who had Kieran Gibbs sent off after 15 minutes, 6-0. To make matters worse for Wenger it was his 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal, Mourinho’s biggest Premier League victory as Chelsea manager and also the first time in Chelsea’s history that they had scored six times against the Gunners.

The next time they would meet in the top flight would be seven months later in dugout scenes never witnessed before in the Premier League era.

Chelsea won the match 2-0 but the encounter will always be remembered for Wenger shoving Mourinho after an ill-tempered row.

‘In hindsight I think I should not have reacted at all,’ Wenger reflected. ‘It’s not a way to behave on a football field.’

‘I’m not surprised, I’m not surprised,’ Mourinho said of his foe’s conduct. ‘[Me] charged? Charged? If it was me it would have been a stadium ban.’

In October 2015 tempers spilled over massively as Mourinho and Wenger got into a heated row

Wenger shoved Mourinho during the touchline fracas as Arsenal went on to lose 2-0 at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho vs Rafa Benitez 

This rivalry occurred predominately in the Champions League – think back to that ‘ghost goal’ scored by Luis Garcia in the 2005 Champions League semi-finals – but Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez did engage in verbal jousting domestically too.

The pair joined Chelsea and Liverpool both in the summer of 2004.

Mourinho won the League Cup and Premier League during the 2004-05 season but Benitez won the Champions League.

Mourinho’s rivalry with Rafa Benitez stemmed mainly from their Champions League battles

When Mourinho was sacked as Chelsea boss at the start of the 2007-08 season, he couldn’t resist a swipe at his Spanish adversary months later.

‘How many championships has Benitez won since he joined Liverpool? None,’ he said in April 2008.

‘And how many names were suggested by the press to replace him? None.’

In the summer of 2013, Mourinho replaced Benitez in the Chelsea hotseat and was quick to diminish the latter’s achievement of winning the Europa League the previous season.

‘I don’t want to win the Europa League,’ he said in July 2013. ‘It would be a big disappointment for me. I don’t want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition.’

Three months later Mourinho took another aim at his rival following victory at Manchester City.

‘I watched every game of Chelsea against City in the last year. I saw the game at Wembley, the game at home, the game at City, I saw even parts of the friendlies in the States. Mental. Not tactical. Nothing. Mental. Afraid to assume. Afraid to go. Afraid to say we want to win, we can win.’

After being sacked in 2007-08, Mourinho goaded Benitez for his lack of Premier League titles

Since then it appears relations between the duo have eased with Benitez telling Sportsmail in September: ‘The rivalry with the Chelsea of Mourinho was good for the game.

‘There was passion and emotion. Rivalry in football is a great thing as long as it is well respected and no-one loses control or breaks the limits.

‘For us to compete with them, with all the money they were spending, says a lot about our progress at the time. Every game was a challenge to think a step or two ahead – “if they do this, we will do that and if we do that maybe they will do this”.

‘Before one game, I thought maybe they had a weakness at right back and then they moved Michael Essien to right back and he was so good they didn’t have a weak point. They were strong, good on the ball, aggressive and well organised. You can see in the Premier League how well they did.

‘We talk about Formula One. In the league, if they have a better car, they will go past you on the straight and that’s it. In the Champions League, it is a bendy circuit and there are chances to show your ability as a driver. We were able to compete and I was proud of my team.’

Jose Mourinho vs Antonio Conte 

Solskjaer isn’t the first managerial successor Mourinho has had a spat with as Antonio Conte can testify.

After Mourinho was sacked for the second time as Chelsea boss in December 2015, the Blues appointed Conte as their next permanent manager in July 2016.

By this point Mourinho was now in charge of Manchester United and the tension between the pair was palpable upon their first league meeting in October that year.

Mourinho and Antonio Conte’s first run-in came in 2016 after Chelsea thumped United 4-0

Chelsea won that fixture at Stamford Bridge emphatically 4-0 and at full-time Mourinho suggested to Conte that he had ‘humiliated’ him with his exuberant celebrations.

Italian television reported that Mourinho told Conte: ‘You don’t celebrate like that at 4-0, you can do it at 1-0, otherwise it’s humiliating for us.’

As Chelsea raced towards the Premier League title, Mourinho backed them to win it as early as February but couldn’t resist a barb about the Blues being too ‘defensive’ in doing so.

‘Chelsea are a very good defensive team,’ he said. ‘I think in this situation a very defensive team wins the title with counter-attack goals and set-piece goals.’

Crowned champions, Conte’s focus in the summer of 2017 was to successfully defend the title. The fiery Italian was all-too-aware that the last time they were reigning champions, under Mourinho, the following season was a disaster.

‘We know the difficulty of the next season and for sure we want to avoid the Mourinho season with Chelsea. Two years ago the team ended the league in 10th place and we want to try to avoid this,’ said Conte.

Relations between the pair worsened over time as they traded multiple insults and accusations

When these comments were put to Mourinho, he responded with a firm dig about Conte’s hair, which was receding towards the end of his playing days but has since flourishing thanks to various transplants.

‘I could answer in many different ways,’ said Mourinho. ‘But I’m not going to lose my hair to speak about Antonio Conte.’

The first league meeting in November 2017 ended in a 1-0 win to Chelsea but the resentment between the two managers was obvious at full-time as Conte blanked Mourinho and refused to shake hands.

‘You want me to go and chase him into the middle of the pitch?’ Mourinho said when asked about it. ‘I was there. 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.’

‘It’s not important,’ Conte insisted to Sky Sports. ‘It’s important to win the game. You have to have the respect on the pitch, not outside the pitch.’

The verbal jousting continued during January 2018 with Conte accusing Mourinho of having ‘senile dementia’, being a ‘little man’ and a ‘fake’ during numerous rants which were sandwiched around Mourinho accusing him of match-fixing while in charge of Siena.

Conte accused Mourinho of having ‘senile dementia’, while his hair transplants were mocked

Jose Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola

Rewind to a decade ago and Mourinho versus Pep Guardiola was arguably more box office than any El Clasico encounter on the pitch.

The pair were, and still are, polar opposites in philosophy and this made for mesmerising encounters whenever Real Madrid faced eternal foes Barcelona.

Much of that animosity was expected to be replicated in the summer of 2016 when Mourinho took charge of United and Guardiola did likewise with their ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City.

Mourinho’s war with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola go back to their days managing in Spain 

The 2016-17 campaign went by relatively smoothly between the pair as Chelsea beat both to the title under Conte.

However, tension between United and City boiled over in December 2017 following the latter’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

Mourinho had water squirted at him, was hit on the head by an empty plastic bottle and was also doused with milk from a flying carton as a melee ensued involving some 20 players and staff.

Mourinho demanded City players show ‘more respect’ as music blared out of their dressing room following their triumph.

The United boss was heading from his own players’ dressing room to do his post-match press conference when he walked into City’s domain to make his feelings known and was confronted by City goalkeeper Ederson.

The two were involved in a heated exchange and squared up, shouting at each other in Portuguese.

Manchester City’s hero Nicolas Otamendi celebrates in the Old Trafford tunnel in 2017

Mourinho was allegedly doused with milk and hit on the head with a bottle during fracas

City goalkeeper Ederson confronted the then-United manager in the tunnel post-match

United’s players were enraged by the perceived gloating of City players and followed Mourinho into the corridor area between the dressing rooms, which sparked the skirmishes between players.

City, for their part, believed Mourinho, sore at losing, had overstepped the boundaries by entering their dressing room to voice his discontent and he was followed by his United players.

Mourinho’s anger was also fired by what he claimed was City receiving preferential treatment by referees, while he branded his own side’s defending ‘disgraceful’.

In comments which irked City boss Guardiola, Mourinho insisted the league leaders were fortunate to seal a record 14th consecutive win – stretching their lead in the table to 11 points.

Mourinho was adamant Oliver’s refusal to award a 79th-minute penalty after Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge was wrong. Herrera was booked for diving.

Tempers flared on the pitch as Guardiola’s City managed a pivotal 2-1 win at Old Trafford

‘They are lucky, I think they have all these decisions in their favour,’ said Mourinho, who had accused City of being divers in the run-up to the game.

‘We can speak about anything you want, we can bring any football theory, stats, ball possession, but like last season it is a huge penalty in a crucial moment.

‘You expect City to score great goals, not to score two disgraceful goals. They had apparent control but the biggest save is the double save of Ederson.’

But Guardiola recalled similar jibes after their 2-1 win there in 2016. ‘It was the same,’ he sighed. ‘But we won because we were better. In all departments we were better. I don’t know the plan from my opponent but we came here to try to win.

‘We did the same at Stamford Bridge. I am happy because so many people say you cannot win in England playing like this. It’s still only December. If we have an 11-point lead when we play the derby in April then maybe I will tell you we have the title.’

Despite the hostilities, the following league encounter was an entertaining affair as United came from 2-0 down at City to win 3-2 and deny them winning the title that day on April 7, 2018.

Chris Smalling (left) sealed a comeback win for United at City in the league in April 2018

Speaking post-match, Mourinho as complimentary towards City – who would win the title a fortnight later.

‘Our challenge is to finish second but I want to congratulate City for the title – because they are going to win and deservedly. They gave no chance to the others because they had this season of not stopping winning,’ he said.

However, by August 2018 those compliments towards City were replaced with more swipes from Mourinho. The Portuguese manager was unhappy at the portrayal of United and himself during City’s 2017-18 behind-the-scenes All or Nothing documentary on Amazon Prime.

‘You can have a fantastic movie while respecting others.

‘You don’t need to be disrespectful to have a fantastic movie. You can be a rich club and buy the best players in the world but you cannot buy class and they showed that clearly, that was really obvious.’

Despite the barbs, Guardiola has come out on top largely in England against Mourinho

The second episode shows City’s record-breaking 14th Premier League victory in a row, secured with a 2-1 win over United at Old Trafford in December 2017.

Narrator, British actor Sir Ben Kingsley, described it as ‘Guardiola versus Mourinho once more; possession versus defence; attacking football versus ‘park the bus”.

Mourinho also took shots at City predicting that they would beat United at the Etihad in April that year by having had celebratory T-shirts made in advance.

Mourinho added: ‘You know, a movie without me doesn’t sell much. I needed to be there.

‘But if they send me one of the shirts they had in the tunnel when we played there – the shirts that were saying “we did it on derby day” – if they send me one of these shirts, I give up about the royalties.’

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