Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists his players and staff as “so polite” after reports of a tunnel bust-up following Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard struck twice in the first half either side of a Sergio Aguero equaliser and, although they pressed throughout the second period, City were unable to peg back the Premier League leaders.
Guardiola conceded his team’s lingering title hopes had been extinguished by the defeat, having cut an animated figure alongside Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte on the touchline during the contest.
After full-time, members of Chelsea and City’s respective backroom teams were involved in a heated argument, according to reports by the Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph.
Conte missed the flashpoint and later hailed Guardiola as the best coach in the world during a post-match news conference.
The ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was reported to have stood his ground with his staff during the incident – a version of events since disputed by The Sun.
Addressing the media ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Hull City, Guardiola initially sought to make light of the rumoured feud.
“Yeah, the tunnel at Chelsea is so tight, so tight,” he said.
Asked if anything serious had occurred, he replied: “Come on, nothing. We congratulate Chelsea for the victory.
“We are so polite in our defeats and especially we are so polite when we win. Especially that.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 7, 2017
Speaking before his side’s trip to Bournemouth, Conte similarly sought to play down any controversy.
“Honestly, no, I didn’t see. I was in the changing room to speak with my players,” he said.
“I think it’s not important what happened in the tunnel, it’s important what happened on the pitch. A lot of people enjoyed this game.
“Respect is always important. These are the most important things in football. There’s a winner and a loser and both must respect the final result.”
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