Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has risked a new run-in with the English football authorities by claiming he is judged by a different set of rules to rival managers.
He hit out at perceived inconsistencies in a cryptic post-match press conference after seeing his side held to a goalless draw by Hull City at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Mourinho seemed angry at referee Mike Jones’s failure to clamp down on what he saw as Hull’s time-wasting or show visiting striker Oumar Niasse a second yellow card for a high challenge on Marcos Rojo.
But when asked for his views on the officiating, Mourinho replied: “Don’t ask me questions that I cannot answer.”
He went on to allude to his own stadium ban last season, during his time as Chelsea manager, and the recent behaviour of his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger and Liverpool rival Jurgen Klopp.
Wenger was hit with a four-game touchline ban for pushing the fourth official, while Klopp revealed he had apologised after screaming in the fourth official’s face during his side’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
“You know clearly that I am different,” Mourinho went on. “I am different. The rules for me are different.
“I am different in everything. I watched my team play in a hotel (when banned), I was forbidden to go to the stadium, my assistant had a six-match stadium ban and he didn’t touch anyone.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), one fourth official told a manager: ‘I enjoy very much your passion, so do what you want to do.’
“Today I was told sit down or I have to send you to the stands, so everything is different for me.
“So don’t ask me questions that put me in a difficult situation. To end the story, I just want to say the simple: 0-0, a great point for them, congratulations.
“It’s a bad point for us. We have to keep going because we have another game for the weekend.”
Mourinho then walked out of the Old Trafford press room without taking questions about defender Phil Jones, who limped off in the second half with an apparent hamstring injury.
He had earlier walked out of a television interview after less than two minutes.
– Silva ‘happy’ – “I’m not happy with the result,” said Mourinho, whose side were left four points off the top four in sixth place.
“I won’t criticise the opponents because they are fighting for their lives. Every point for them is golden.
“They have to fight with everything they have. They tried to see what they were allowed to do.
“The referee gave them feedback and then they were comfortable doing what they did for 90 minutes.
“I’m not critical of the opposition because they are fighting for their lives.”
Hull collected an important point in their battle for survival under new manager Marco Silva, with goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic making several vital saves.
“I am happy,” said Silva, whose side were beaten by United in the League Cup semi-finals last week.
“The performance showed a good organisation in many moments again. We played as a team and when we needed to suffer, we were ready to suffer.
“The team showed good character, which is important for me, and I am happy.”
Hull might even have emerged victorious had Lazar Markovic’s late shot not come back off the post, but Silva conceded victory would have flattered the visitors, who remain in the relegation zone.
“In the second half we improved when we changed to put three centre-backs in and we had good chances,” he said.
“The first was for Lazar Markovic and then when Abel Hernandez went into the box, but we didn’t score. United also had good chances during the match, but I think we deserved the result.
“It’s important for us. It gives confidence for our team and our players, but it is only one point.”