Arsene Wenger says he was provoked before his altercation with Jose Mourinho on the touchline last Sunday, reports ESPN.
The pair have had a long running feud, which came to a head during Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
The Arsenal boss raised his hands to shove Mourinho, and despite insisting he had no regrets over the incident at the final whistle, the Frenchman has revealed he was provoked before the push.
“They gave too much importance to this story,” Wenger told French TV channel TF1. “In hindsight, I think I should not have reacted at all – it’s not a way to behave on a football field.
“I always regret any signs of violence and I apologise, but that’s a part of games where everything is manic. And then we have quite a substantial past. Did Mourinho provoke me? That is how I felt. I did not enter Chelsea’s technical area.”
The managers had to be separated by fourth official Jon Moss before they were called over by referee Martin Atkinson, who warned both that any further incidents would see them sent to the stands.
Mourinho said he had “no words to explain what everybody saw in those images”.