The Manchester derby this season has all the makings of providing the most entertaining affair this year. The amount of quality on both sides is sure to produce a thriller but what makes this game even bigger is the rivalry between the two coaches. Jose Mourinho, who is incharge of Manchester Untied and Pep Guardiola who is now incharge of Manchester City, have in the past met on many occasions to produce unforgettable events. A few years ago, they faced off in El-Classico, the mother of all matches in domestic football and will now hope to draw first blood in England.
With just a couple of days left for the kick-off let’s try to get to ourselves into the mood and look at 5 instances when Jose Mourinho took a dig at Pep Guardiola over the years.
1. In a run of continuous games between Real Madrid and Barcelona in April a few years ago, Mourinho managed to take home the Spanish Cup but not without controversy as Guardiola came out and asked the linesman about an offside decision that went against his side.
Mourinho was quick to reply, “Up until now there was a very small group of coaches who didn’t talk about referees and a larger group who did. Now, with Pep’s comments, we have started a new era with a third group, featuring only one person, a man who criticises [the referee] when he makes good decisions. This is completely new to me.”
2. For the fifth game in a row (including Inter Milan) Mourinho had a player sent-off against a Guardiola side. Pepe was shown a red on 61 minutes and Mourinho himself was dismissed for protesting. After the match, he launched a shocking attack on Barcelona and the integrity of UEFA officials. “One day, I would like Josep Guardiola to win this competition properly,” he said. This was one of the biggest attacks on the Spaniard who himself took time to come up with a reply that sparked a huge debate in the media.
3. In a continuous dig at Guardiola for the red card incidents, Mourinho went on to say, “Josep Guardiola is a fantastic coach. But I have won two Champions Leagues and he has won [only] one Champions League – and that is one that would embarrass me. I would be ashamed to have won it with the scandal of Stamford Bridge. If he wins it this year, it will be with the scandal of the Bernabeu. Deep down, if they are good people, it cannot taste right for them. I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal.” This saw the Portuguese national take a fine for criticizing the match officials in the media.
4. Mourinho’s unnecessary scandal in the Spanish Super Cup second leg which saw him poke a finger in Tito Vilanova’s eye, raised a clash of words with players such as Pique also took to media to criticize him.
However, Mourinho was not ready to take it and said “I’m not going to say we’re happy because we didn’t win the Spanish Super Cup, that would be hypocritical of me. But we intend to play like men and not fall on the ground at the slightest touch. I have been taught to play like a man and not to fall first,” as he tried to undermine the victory for Barcelona.
5. A decent comeback from Guardiola’s Bayern Munich to beat Mourinho’s Chelsea saw the rivalry take another dig in 2013. After the loss, Mourinho was asked about his lack of success against Guardiola but the Manchester United manager was adamant that he has won more than his counterpart. He went on to retaliate saying, “Your statistics are wrong and very wrong,” Mourinho said. “Go there and see what happened with Inter in the Champions League semi-final. I won the Spanish cup final in Valencia, I won the Super Cup in Spain. I was champion in Spain. I won the match for the title in Barcelona with Real Madrid.”
The duo have always produced intense affairs on the field and if they are anything to go by, Old Trafford is the place to become this Saturday.