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CHELSEA coach Marco Ianni has been charged with improper conduct for sparking an unsavoury scuffle that led the FA to remind Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho of his responsibilities.
Passions spilt over in front of the Stamford Bridge tunnel after Ross Barkley’s stoppage-time strike at Stamford Bridge on Saturday saw Maurizio Sarri’s Blues snatch a 2-2 draw.
Mourinho was incensed by the way assistant coach Ianni celebrated the goal in front of the United bench, leading the former Chelsea boss to dart off his seat and a melee to ensue.
The United manager received an apology from both Ianni and opposite number Sarri and said he considers the matter closed, but the FA has now opened disciplinary proceedings.
The governing body said in a statement: “Chelsea coach Marco Ianni has been charged following the game against Manchester United on Saturday.
“It is alleged that his behaviour in the 96th minute constituted improper conduct. He has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.
“In relation to this incident, Jose Mourinho has been formally reminded of his responsibilities while both clubs have received similar official reminders in terms of the behaviour expected of their staff and players at all times whilst in the technical area.”
Mourinho launched an unexpected defence of Ianni before tomorrow’s Champions League clash with Juventus after England Women manager Phil Neville called for the “absolutely disgraceful” behaviour to see the Italian sacked.
“I want to thank Sarri for his honesty,” Mourinho said. “I want to thank Chelsea for its honesty too.
“But I’m not happy that it’s going too far with the young boy. I don’t think he deserves more than what he got.
“He apologised to me, I accept his apologies. I think he deserves a second chance.
“I don’t think he deserves to be sacked, I don’t think he deserves anything more than the fact that his club was strong with him and he went through a situation that in the end he recognises that he was wrong.
“So, I hope everybody does the same as I did which is to not disturb the career of a young guy, which is probably a great guy, probably is a coach with great potential.
“With me, it’s the end of the story in the minute he apologised to me.
“Everybody makes mistakes, I made a lot of mistakes, so I hope they let the kid go on.”
Mourinho does not face any further FA action for that incident, but the United manager is preparing to answer a charge of using abusive, insulting or improper language following the 3-2 victory over Newcastle.
The Portuguese spoke into a camera in his mother tongue after his side came from behind before the international break and has until tomorrow to respond, having been granted an extension. Mourinho could potentially face a domestic touchline ban.
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