Jose Mourinho launched a stinging attack on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his Manchester United counterpart criticised Son Heung-min following the Red Devils’ 3-1 win at Tottenham.
Son was involved in a controversial moment in the first half when he went down holding his face after being fended off by Scott McTominay in the build-up to an Edinson Cavani goal, which referee Chris Kavanagh eventually ruled out after a VAR intervention.
The South Korean then put Spurs in front six minutes later before a stirring fightback after the break saw United win it thanks to goals from Fred, Cavani and Mason Greenwood.
But the Norwegian was unhappy with Son after the game and said: “We shouldn’t be conned. If my son stayed down for three minutes and needed 10 mates to help him up, he wouldn’t get any food.”
Those comments infuriated Mourinho, who was possibly deflecting from a defeat that realistically ends Tottenham’s Champions League qualification hopes, and the former United boss went in hard on the man who replaced him at Old Trafford.
Unprompted, Mourinho said: “First of all, let me tell you something. I’m very, very surprised that after the comments that Ole made on Sonny, you don’t ask me about it.
“Because – and I told Ole already this because I met him just a few minutes ago – if it’s me, telling that player A, B or C from another club, if it was my son I wouldn’t give him dinner tonight, what would be the reaction of that?
“It’s very, very sad. I think it’s really sad that you don’t ask me about that. It’s sad you don’t have the moral honestly to treat me the same way as you treat others.
“In relation to that, I just want to say that Sonny is very lucky that his father is a better person than Ole. I am a father. I think as a father you have always to feed your kids. Doesn’t matter what they do. If you have to steal to feed your kids, you steal.
“I’m very, very disappointed. As we say in Portugal, bread is bread and cheese is cheese. I told Ole already what I think about his comments and I’m very disappointed that in five, six, seven questions you ignore the dimensions of that comment.”
Solskjaer said he was pleased with his side’s response to that moment.
After Son, typically, put Spurs in front with a tap-in, United rallied after the break as Fred levelled from close range then Cavani sent home a brilliant diving header before Greenwood’s late strike extended the club’s impressive away record.
Solskjaer said: “I think from that moment onwards, we played some very, very good football after that.
“I know we conceded a goal but they came together and they weren’t going to let a decision like that derail our season. A strength in the team is to come together in difficult moments. We have done that many a time this season.”
Cavani put in a brilliant shift in the number nine position and Solskjaer revealed he is trying to persuade the Uruguayan to stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season.
“Fantastic performance, we are awaiting his decision if he wants to stay or wants to move on,” he said. “A performance like today we as a club have missed for a few years, we have not had that number nine for a long, long spell.
“Edinson has been working so hard to get fit and we can see the boys played to his strengths as well.
“We have had open and honest meetings and it’s no secret we want to keep him. I don’t think it is any secret that this has been a difficult year for everyone.
“With the pandemic, it has not been possible to have friends over, you can’t have family over without quarantine. He has not been able to experience the fantastic culture of Manchester and England and he is contemplating and thinking long and hard about what he wants to do.
“I understand. He knows what we want, I want him at Old Trafford in front of a full Stretford End scoring a header like today. Let’s wait and see.”