Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has apologised to opposite number Manuel Pellegrini for any offence caused by his celebration of Fernando Torres' late goal in his side's victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
Mourinho had cut across in front of the City bench and entered into the crowd, in a move he says was to celebrate with his son in the stand. However, his actions drew ire from Pellegrini, who refused to shake his hand post-match:
Regarding his celebrations and subsequent lack of handshake with his opposite number, per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, Mourinho said:
I wanted to buy a season ticket for my son, and they give them a season ticket behind the away dug-out. I went for him, I promise. The next match you’ll see him there again.
I beat City in the last minute in Madrid last season, and I destroyed my trousers (by sliding on the floor). I apologise if they feel I did something wrong.
He [Pellegrini] lost the game in the last minute and I have sympathy with that. I don’t feel it’s a lack of respect.
Per the same report, Pellegrini had earlier commented on Mourinho's actions:
I don’t want to speak about him. I didn’t expect anything else. It is a different way to celebrate from me. I didn’t shake hands because I didn’t want to.
The match at Stamford Bridge had ended in dramatic style when a mix-up between City defender Matija Nastasic and goalkeeper Joe Hart left Torres with a simple finish to seal a final-minute success for Mourinho's side.
The manner of City's third defeat of the campaign would have been painful for Pellegrini, who has already seen England No. 1 Hart make notable errors on a couple of occasions this season.
To lose in such a manner to a side that will likely be a direct title rival, leaving City six points off the pace at the top of the table, will only make matters worse.
Per ESPN FC's Nicholas Rigg, Pellegrini and Mourinho rarely saw eye to eye in La Liga, with Mourinho having replaced the now-City boss as Real Madrid manager in 2010.
Given that they will now be fighting for the Premier League title on what should be a relatively even playing field—unlike in their battles when at Real Madrid and Malaga—there will be a lot of pride at stake in the clashes.
Neither side has truly convinced this season, though, and there is still plenty of time for Pellegrini to claw back Chelsea's four-point lead over his side.
With Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafael Benitez now out of the Premier League scene and the division deprived of the pair's regular disagreements, it appears Mourinho and Pellegrini may be willing to fill the void.
When it comes to Mourinho, at least, there will be few surprised to hear of his involvement.