Jose Mourinho is considered a lightning rod, for bad or good. Even when it’s not his fault, he usually ends up being in the spotlight, this time around at the hands of Marco Ianni after the chaotic and dramatic 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
Who is Marco Ianni?
This is probably a question that Jose Mourinho uttered prior to the start of the game on Saturday afternoon. However, he is well aware of who Marco Ianni is now after the Italian provoked the former manager of Chelsea with an enthusiastic celebration following Ross Barkley’s equaliser on the 96th minute.
The official title for Ianni is the second assistant to Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea’s head coach. However, he will now always be remembered as the guy who goaded Jose Mourinho, leading the Manchester United manager to chase him down the tunnel after the game was done and dusted. It was already quite dramatic after Barkley scored the late goal, but while Mourinho was mostly blameless during the game, it’s valid to ask if Ianni would have reacted the same if Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp was in the position as opposed to Mourinho.
This is, unfortunately, the reality that Jose Mourinho needs to accept. Due to his history and own track record of antagonising opponents, Mourinho now finds himself facing the same kind of behaviour that he has been guilty of in the past. No one will ever forget how Mourinho poked Tito Vilanova straight in the eye or when he sprinted down the touchline at Old Trafford to celebrate the last minute equaliser of Porto at Man Utd. After accepting the post-match apology from Ianni, Mourinho admitted that he can’t hold a grudge against the Italian given his own actions in the past.
“I’m definitely not annoyed with anything that took place,” Jose Mourinho stated. “Sarri was the first to state that he will resolve it after what occurred with his assistant.”
“Sarri’s assistant already approached me and apologised for what happened, and I told him to just forget it. There’s a lot of mistakes I made in the past, especially when I was his age.”
The Chelsea manager admitted that Jose Mourinho was wronged and displayed far more diplomacy than the previous Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte.
“Once the match was over, I spoke to Mourinho and instantly realised that we were to blame for what occurred,” Sarri stated. “I immediately spoke to my second assistant and requested that he goes an apologise to Mourinho for his actions. Now everything is resolved.”
However, what occurred thereafter was classic Jose Mourinho. Chelsea fans managed to taunt the former manager by chanting ‘F— off Jose Mourinho!’ from the main stands. Jose Mourinho simply replied by showing three fingers to the Chelsea crowd. The three fingers basically indicated the 3 Premier League titles that Jose Mourinho managed to win as the manager of the club.