Chelsea manager Antonio Conte continued his feud with Jose Mourinho, gaffer of Manchester United on Saturday by calling him “a little man”.
Mourinho made a pointed comment about match-fixing during the week, a reference to the four-month suspension Conte was handed in the 2012/2013 season, when he managed Siena in Italy.
His offence was his failure to report the match-fixing at the club. He was later cleared by an Italian court of any wrongdoing.
“I think when you try to hurt a person, especially if you know very well the truth of what happens, the court proved my innocence.
“When you do this it means you are a little man,” Conte said after Chelsea’s 0-0 FA Cup third-round draw at Championship side Norwich City.
“But this is the not the first time. He does this in the past and he continues to do this in the present.”
Mourinho and Conte have never been friends but their relationship deteriorated this week after Mourinho spoke about some managers behaving “like a clown” on the touchline.
This was taken as a reference to Conte and Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp.
In response on Friday, the Chelsea manager accused the Portuguese of “senile dementia”, which led to Mourinho saying he had not mentioned any names.
“This is his way, it is no surprise. We all know him,” Conte said. “Life will go on, I‘m not worried about him.”
Conte refused to criticise his players after making nine changes for the match against Norwich.
“It’s a bit frustrating. We knew the difficulty of the game. When you play away in this competition it’s not easy,” he said.
“In the first half we had difficulty to attack but in the second half we created chances to score.
“Norwich deserve to have another game. For us it’s not simple to add another game in the schedule. These are the rules though.”