Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City are “polite” and Antonio Conte was adamant Chelsea are respectful as both played down reports of a tunnel bust-up following Wednesday’s encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Guardiola was caught up in the commotion immediately after Chesea’s 2-1 win over City, when numerous voices were raised after a frank exchange which did not turn physical.
It is understood that the incident was not mentioned in referee Mike Dean’s report and there is not expected to be any Football Association disciplinary action relating to the matter.
Conte on Friday said: “Respect is always important. I think this is the most important thing in football.
“I think there is a winner and there is a loser. And both must accept the final result and show respect.”
Asked about the incident, Guardiola said: “Come on. Nothing (serious). We congratulate Chelsea for the victory.
“We are so polite in our defeats and especially we are so polite when we win, especially that.”
The Stamford Bridge tunnel has two flights of stairs – one down from the pitch level and another up to the dressing rooms and media area – and numerous individuals were caught in the crossfire in an area likened to a bottle neck.
Guardiola added: “The tunnel at Chelsea is so tight, so tight.”
Conte was unaware of the episode until afterwards, having already returned to the dressing room following a win which moved his side within 18 points of the Premier League title.
“I didn’t see anything because I was in the changing room, to stay with my players,” Conte said.
“I didn’t see. It’s not important what happened in the tunnel. The most important thing is what happened on the pitch.
“I think a lot of people enjoyed this game, Chelsea against City, this is the most important thing for us.”
Conte and Guardiola are in their first seasons in English football.
The Italian, whose Chelsea side won 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium in December, is the first boss to inflict a league double over Guardiola in the Catalan’s career. Both clubs were fined heavily following a touchline melee at the end of the December match.
Chelsea and City play Tottenham and Arsenal, respectively, in the FA Cup semi-finals later this month and could meet in the final on May 27.