ARSENE Wenger attempted to make light of his shove on Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho after Arsenal fell to a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge which saw the Blues extend their advantage at the top of the Barclays Premier League to five points.
Eden Hazard, with a first-half penalty, and Diego Costa, with his ninth goal in seven league games, struck as Wenger’s bid for a first win against a Chelsea side managed by Mourinho goes on.
In 12 attempts the Frenchman is still to taste victory and his frustrations boiled over after Gary Cahill’s tackle from behind on Alexis Sanchez in the 20th minute, when he pushed Mourinho in the chest as he strode towards the Chile forward.
Asked if he regretted the managers’ long-running feud turning physical, Wenger said: “No. What is to regret after that?
“I wanted to go from A to B and somebody confronted me in between without any sign of welcome.
“B was Sanchez, to see how badly he was injured.”
Mourinho told the Frenchman to “back off” as the Gunners boss firmly planted two hands on the Portuguese’s chest - risking Football Association disciplinary action - and the pair also eye-balled each other in close quarters.
“Honestly I don’t listen to what he says,” Wenger added.
“Look I trust you that you (the media) will teach me all the moral lessons over the next three weeks. And I can accept that.”
Wenger admitted it was a push, saying “a little one”.
He added: “I can try to push you. You can see when I really try to push.”
The managers have a long history of conflict.
Mourinho on Friday refused to apologise for in February labelling Wenger “a specialist in failure” and their latest contretemps will have soured the relationship further.
The Chelsea boss preferred to move on.
Mourinho said: “Forget that (the push). A football pitch is a football pitch, so no problem.
“It becomes heated because this is a big game, big clubs, big rivals, (an) important match for both teams. These conditions make a game of emotions.
“There are two technical areas, one for me, one for him. He was coming to my technical area and he was not coming for the right reasons.
“He was not coming to give some tactical instructions or something.
“He was coming to press the referee to give a red card and I didn’t like that.”
Mourinho praised Jonathan Moss for his handling of the incident, which saw referee Martin Atkinson warn both managers after consulting the fourth official.
The Blues boss, who did not speak to Wenger afterwards, declined to criticise his opposite number’s conduct.
“To be fair, I do so many wrong things in football,” Mourinho added.
“Sometimes you lose emotion and I did so many wrong things, but not this time, because this time I was just in my technical area and it was not my problem. Game over. Story over.”