Pep Guardiola was involved in a tunnel bust-up after the defeat which ended his Manchester City side’s title chances.
Tempers between the rival benches had been simmering throughout Chelsea’s victory over City at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night – and then exploded into a full-scale row afterwards.
City boss Guardiola was incredibly animated throughout the game, his coaching staff had arguments with their counterparts from the home team and the slanging match got even more heated once those involved entered the tunnel.
It needed stewards to intervene to split up the row between Guardiola and City personnel and Chelsea coaches — although the champions-elect’s manager Antonio Conte had already gone into their dressing room.
Fitness coach Paolo Bertelli carried on the row as the teams and coaching staff went into the tunnel. He had a heated exchange with the visitors’ masseur Mark Sertori, and tempers boiled over.
Guardiola had already made his way through the tunnel and climbed the steps towards the dressing rooms, but bolted back down again to get involved.
He shouted in frustration and ranted at Chelsea coaches before stewards intervened to try to calm things down in an area which is very tight for space.
There were no punches thrown or pushing and shoving, but a source described it as a “huge commotion” — way above the normal post-match tensions.
After the fracas broke up, Guardiola and his entourage of coaches and advisers stood outside the City dressing room, refusing to go in, until Bertelli was ushered past by stewards.
It is understood there was no row between the managers, who parted on good terms before City left Stamford Bridge.
Bertelli has a reputation for having a temper and getting involved, but Guardiola was as animated as regular observers have ever seen him during the game and carried that on afterwards as the tension apparently got to him.
A source said: “Everyone says Conte is excitable on the touchline – but it was nothing compared to Guardiola on this occasion.”
In his post-match interviews, Guardiola conceded City are now out of the title race while Chelsea’s victory was a significant one, keeping them seven points ahead of Spurs at the top.
A huge round of applause could be heard from the home dressing room 15 minutes after the final whistle as Conte congratulated his players, before telling them they need six more wins to clinch the championship.