They’ve exchanged barbs in each other’s direction for years in press conferences, and on Sunday the feud between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho’s turned physical. In the first half of Chelsea’s Premier League encounter with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, tensions were raised after a hard foul by Gary Cahill. With Mourinho gesticulating toward the Arsenal bench, Wenger walked over to his Chelsea counterpart and delivered two shoves to his chest. The clash prompted referee Martin Atkinson to intervene and cool the heated atmosphere on the two benches.
The push was doubtless a reaction from Wenger not just to the moment but to regular pointed remarks in his direction from the Portuguese. Labeled a “voyeur” by Mourinho in response to comments from Wenger on Chelsea, Mourinho last season described the Frenchman as a “specialist in failure” following Wenger’s suggestion that Chelsea had a “fear of failure.” Wenger has never tasted victory over a team managed by Mourinho.
Chelsea beat Arsenal 6-0 when the sides met at Stamford Bridge last season and went into Sunday’s encounter top of the Premier League, six points above their opponents.