Football chiefs have launched an investigation into the fracas in the Old Trafford tunnel which marred Sunday’s derby between Manchester United and runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.
City coach and former Arsenal skipper Mikel Arteta suffered a cut to the head and milk and water was thrown in the direction of United boss Jose Mourinho during the post-match exchanges.
It is believed that the melee started when Mourinho took exception to what he considered to be excessive City celebrations following their 2-1 victory which propelled them 11 points clear at the league summit.
“The FA have sought observations from both clubs in relation to an incident which occurred following yesterday’s game,” read a Football Association statement.
United and City have until 6pm on Wednesday to respond, after which the governing body will decide whether any further probe is required or if sanctions for either club are warranted.
Mourinho is believed to have been irked by loud music and revelry emanating from the City dressing room, while an altercation with visiting goalkeeper Ederson subsequently broke out.
Despite the incident taking place close to the referee’s room, it is understood that match official Michael Oliver did not witness the quarrel and no mention of it is included in his match report.
City secured maximum points thanks to centre-half Nicolas Otamendi’s winner in the second period after United’s Marcus Rashford had supplied a quick-fire leveller to David Silva’s opening strike in the dying embers of the first half.
Mourinho conceded post-match that the title race was all but over after City became the first top-flight side in English football to post 14 successive wins in a single season.
City counterpart Pep Guardiola, who opted against joining his players and coaching staff in celebrating with supporters after the full-time whistle, insisted there was still plenty of mileage left in the battle for Premier League supremacy.
The Spaniard did, however, revel in proving compelling evidence that his possession-based style of football, which brought him success while in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, could be replicated in England.
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