Fourth official Mike Jones stands betweeen Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, left, and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte during the FA Cup quarter-final between the two sides at Stamford Bridge.
Fourth official Mike Jones stands betweeen Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, left, and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte during the FA Cup quarter-final between the two sides at Stamford Bridge. Frank Augstein

Mourinho not special any more at Stamford Bridge

THINGS got bitter at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United when Chelsea's faithful turned on the man that used to be their Special One.

The relationship soured after his acrimonious exit last season, and he was humbled upon his return in the Premier League earlier this season.

But if there was any sentiment left, then 13 years after Jose Mourinho arrived and changed things forever at Chelsea, mark March 14 as the date the bond brutally broke.

Tensions boiled over after Ander Herrera's 35th minute red card, after which tith the Premier League leaders dominated against Manchester United in the 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final win.

Not only was Mourinho having a running battle with Antonio Conte, goading him on the touchline, but the Portuguese copped it from fans who chided him with taunts of "You're not so special anymore".

Then, when the Blues' most successful manager erupted wanting a yellow for Eden Hazard, accusing him of diving, the home fans chanted "f*** off Mourinho" at the man who delivered three league titles to the club.

His retort?

Three fingers.

Then a point to the ground.

This turf. I won you these titles on this turf.

His post-match press conference took the gesture to the next level.

"They can call me what they want," he said.

"Until the moment they have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I'm the number one.

"When they have somebody that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I become number two.

"Until this moment Judas is number one."

The fans also claimed "it's always your fault", to which Mourinho snapped in his press conference: "We are playing in Europe and our opponent isn't.

"But they could be.

"When I left they were still in the Champions League, they could have won it.

"If they win the Champions League last season, they could be in Europe, so not my fault."

But the running battle didn't end with the fans; Mourinho was suitably incensed when Michael Oliver delivered on his threat to book the next player to trip Hazard.

That player was Ander Herrera, who was already on a yellow.

His 35th minute dismissal effectively ended the contest.

Just minutes later, Conte joined the agitation, when Antonio Valencia crunched Marcos Alonso.

Mourinho claimed the Spaniard dived; Conte was furious with the tackle.

Fourth official Mike Jones had to split the pair, who could barely look each other in the eye in the pre-game handshake.

Conte did not mince his words at United's tactics: "It's not football for me, kicking. Sometimes when you play against players of great talent, you try to intimidate them."

He added: "We want to play football. It was impossible for Hazard to play football for 25 minutes, he received only kicks."

"Hazard started the game and couldn't play. All the people look at this and then judge," Conte said of the red card.

Mourinho said: "I don't speak [about the red card]. I just want to say that I'm really proud of my players and Manchester United fans.

"We have a very important match on Thursday and I want to rest a little bit and prepare as best as we can.

"Everybody can analyse from different perspectives but we all watch the match until the red card and after the red card. So we can compare the decisions of the two yellow cards, in this case with others which were not given.

"I don't want to go in that direction. Michael Oliver is a referee with fantastic potential but in four matches he has given three penalties and a red card. I cannot change that.

"I shook his hand and said many congratulations."

United had surprised Chelsea with the intensity of their start in a Cup clash that looked very evenly poised until Herrera's red ticket.

"I think we can agree there was a match until Herrera saw the red card and there was another match after that," Mourinho said.

"Before that I saw a match that we were going to win. When we stayed with one player less they could be more dominant. But in spite of that we defended well and had the biggest chances.

"Mr Oliver goes home and he can do his own analysis because I don't want to analyse his work," he added.

Chelsea will now play Tottenham Hotspur in one of the FA Cup semi-finals, with Manchester City taking on Arsenal in the other at Wembley.

The games will be played on April 22 and 23.

News Corp Australia

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