Jose Mourinho heightens feud with Antonio Conte with match-fix barb

Jose Mourinho wasted no time in hitting back at criticism from Antonio Conte, reminding the Chelsea manager he was previously accused in a match-fixing scandal.

Amid a war of words between the two Premier League managers, Mourinho said after Manchester United's FA Cup win on Friday night: "What has never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match fixing."

Before coming to Chelsea, Conte was implicated in a 2011 fixing scandal while boss of Italian side Siena, but was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing five years later.

But after Conte earlier on Friday said that a certain manager was showing signs of "senile dementia" in forgetting incidents of high emotion in his own past, the Manchester United boss made his feelings on the matter known.

Asked whether he wanted to respond to Conte's barb, Mourinho told a news conference: "I don't blame him. Honestly. I don't blame him, I think the press should apologise to me and him.

"Because the question that comes to him is completely wrong, and because of that, he had that out of control reaction. But I don't blame him at all.

"I was asked about my passion, and you know I was speaking about myself, and then the question to the Chelsea manager was that I told he behaved like a clown. Probably the journalist wanted to say that but didn't have the courage, so he said 'Mourinho said you behaved like a clown.'

"I don't blame the Chelsea manager at all, and I understand his reaction. I was speaking about myself saying I don't need to behave like a clown to show passion.

"I control my emotions in a better way. Everybody knows, I don't need the Chelsea manager to say I made mistakes in the past. And I will make in the future hopefully.

"I celebrated goals running 50 metres, I celebrated goals sliding on my knees, celebrations jumping in the crowd. I'm not free of that, especially if we score a winning goal in a specific moment, I am not free to have an out-of-control reaction.

"What I was trying to say that I behave bad a few times, and this moment I control myself better. It doesn't mean my passion is not the same. So wrong question and obviously a strong answer, and I don't blame.

"The only way I want to end the story is, yes, I made mistakes in the past on the touchline, and yes, I will make less, but I'll still make a few.

"What has never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match fixing. That never happened to me, and it will never happen."

Asked to clarify his comments because Conte has served a ban for match fixing in the past, Mourinho replied: "Did he? Not me."

Conte, then the manager at Juventus, was initially banned for 10 months in 2012 after being accused of failing to report alleged match fixing in two games involving Siena during the 2010-11 season.

It was later cut to four months, which he served, before being completely cleared in 2016. Conte then led Italy at the European Championship.

The comments that led Conte to speak about Mourinho forgetting his past came as a response to the Portuguese saying on Thursday that some other Premier League managers were acting like "a clown on the touchline" -- referring to animated coaches like Conte and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp.

Conte in response on Friday -- without specifically naming the Man United boss -- brought up instances like Mourinho's famous charge down the touchline to celebrate Porto's equaliser in a 1-1 draw at United in the Champions League round of 16 in 2004.

"I think he has to see himself in the past -- maybe he was speaking about himself in the past," Conte said. "Maybe, sometimes, I think that someone forgets what's said in the past, which is his behaviour.

"Sometimes I think there is, I don't know the name, but demenza senile ... when you forget what you do in the past."

Though Conte used Italian to find the phrase that escaped him in English, Chelsea later said he was trying to say Mourinho had "amnesia."

Before Mourinho's latest response, Conte also said that he was "starting to be a bit annoyed" with his counterparts continuing to talk about him and his club, and that: "If you want to go to fight with me, I am ready."