English Premier League

Jose Mourinho refuses handshake after Stoke touchline dispute as Manchester United’s perfect start ends

Stoke manager Mark Hughes pushes United boss in heated exchange as the two sides share a 2-2 draw in the Premier League

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 September, 2017, 2:27pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 September, 2017, 9:21pm

Mark Hughes has accused Jose Mourinho of sour grapes after the two managers did not shake hands at the end of Manchester United’s 2-2 draw at Stoke.

United’s perfect start to the season in the English Premier League came to an end as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting became the first player to score against them this season, netting twice for Stoke by capitalising on errors by Eric Bailly and Phil Jones.

Tensions boiled over on the touchlines at the bet365 Stadium with Hughes and Mourinho involved in an incident during the match.

“I pushed him because he was in my technical area,” Hughes said. “Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to shake my hand.

“Maybe it’s because it has to be viewed as a negative result for him, coming to Stoke when everybody expected them to beat us.

“It’s a negative. Sometimes managers of top-six clubs don’t take negative results too kindly. “Sometimes, because they’re not used to having to take negative results, sometimes they react in the wrong way.

“Maybe he reacted in the wrong way. In fairness, I’ve got history with non-handshakes so maybe it’s me! Who knows?”

In an interview with the BBC, Mourinho said: “I prefer not to answer [the] question about handshakes. It’s a bad question. It makes it look like it’s my fault but that’s not right.”

Cameroon forward Choupo-Moting’s opener was cancelled out by Marcus Rashford in first-half added time.

After Romelu Lukaku put United in front in the 57th minute, Choupo-Moting headed in Stoke’s equaliser six minutes later, and Mourinho also took aim at Stoke’s apparently defensive tactics.

“One team wanted to win, another team wanted to draw,” Mourinho said. “[Stoke] defended a lot and it is becoming quite trendy in the Premier League, this way of defending now.

“But they did well and physically they were very strong and they probably deserved the point.”

United scored 10 goals without reply in their three victories before the international break but came unstuck against a team that have already beaten Arsenal this season.

United and Manchester City are the early pacesetters in the league, separated by only goal difference. Stoke have half of United’s points haul, collecting five from four games.

“We will always try and go up against teams,” Hughes said. “We’ll never just sit back and wait for the inevitable. I thought we asked questions from the beginning to the end and not many have done that.

“For the most part, United have had the ability and capacity to sweep everybody else before them very comfortably.

“We were never in any danger of being overrun or overcome by them and that’s great credit to us.”