How long will Conte lord over Mourinho?

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Mourinho and Conte in touchline battle

The latest rivalry between Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is currently the biggest in world football.

The popular opinion is that Conte is trying to do to Mourinho what he did to Arsenal gaffer, Arsene Wenger when he arrived England from Porto in 2004. He made sure he embarrassed the Frenchman and in the process won three premier league titles in his two spells with the Blues without losing to the Frenchman.

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Wenger and Mourinho never had the best of relationships and in 2014, the Portuguese handed the Frenchman a nasty 6-0 defeat on a day he was celebrating his 1000th game in charge of the Gunners. Mourinho never respected Wenger and even today they still are not friends.

Fast forward to 2017, the arrival of Conte at Stamford Bridge coincided with the sack of Mourinho. Although, they shared mutual respect before their first meeting on English soil but what transpired during the game has thrown up a whole new world of feud between the two managers.

Mourinho and Conte were just two months into their new jobs when they met in a premier league clash at Stamford Bridge – a ground where the Portuguese was so successful while Conte was still trying to warm himself into the hearts of Chelsea fans.

The stars shined on the Italian that day as he led the Blues to an emphatic 4-0 win over Manchester United with N’Golo Kante scoring a rare goal for the home side and just before the end of the game, Conte urged the crowd to cheer the players as he led from the touchline.

It was a glorious win for the former Juventus manager but a displeased Mourinho was seen after the final whistle haranguing Conte on the touchline. At the post match conference, Conte dismissed Mourinho’s claim for lack of respect as he argued that Stamford Bridge is his home now and can celebrate anyway he wants too.

Mourinho on the sidelines

That episode stayed in the minds of both managers as they used every opportunity to attack each other in press conferences. Mourinho claimed on more than one occasion that Chelsea are too defensive under Conte and have a favourable fixture log than his side who were at the time involved in four competitions while the Blues have just two to focus on and are not playing European matches.

Fatigue was no problem for Conte’s side but the Italian claimed on his part that Mourinho has a better squad and suggested that he should do better in the league than the current sixth position. He even played up the fact that Victor Moses have improved tremendously under him and wondered why he failed under Mourinho.

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The tension, all built up into their second major meeting in England and this time it was in the FA Cup quarter-final which was again at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho’s team again lost without scoring a goal against a Conte side for the second consecutive game running but it was more than the scoreline as both managers clashed on the touchline when the Portuguese complained about the red card given to Ander Herrera by referee Michael Oliver and had to be separated by the fourth official.

Kante who seem to love playing against Manchester United scored the winner in the second half of the encounter and at the post match press conference, Conte complained about the dirty tactics deployed by Mourinho which instructed the players to stop Hazard and ended up fouling him more than any player on the pitch.

Mourinho and David de Gea greet the Manchester United away fans

Now, the big question is: “Will Mourinho ever beat a Conte side in England or will Conte do to him what he did to Arsene Wenger?”

An answer may be provided the next time both sides meet in the premier league in April.

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