FA demands answers over Old Trafford bust-up

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The FA was seeking observations from both clubs about the incident, which took place immediately after City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Sunday. It could also request CCTV footage.
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Reuters

Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi scores the team's second goal — the winner — against Manchester United during their English Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester on December 10, 2017. City won 2-1 to go 11 points clear at the top.

Players and coaches of Manchester United and Manchester City were involved in a melee near the dressing rooms after their English Premier League match, sparking an investigation by the Football Association on Monday.

The FA was seeking observations from both clubs about the incident, which took place immediately after City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Sunday. The governing body could also request CCTV footage.

The match referee, Michael Oliver, didn't include the incident in his post-game report.

A person with knowledge of the situation said about 15 people were involved in a melee around the doorway to the visitors' dressing room, where loud music was playing, and that City assistant coach Mikel Arteta sustained a cut on his forehead. The person didn't see any punches thrown.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss dressing-room incidents.

The incident took place in the tunnel at Old Trafford, where police officers and stewards are located.

United manager Jose Mourinho and City goalkeeper Ederson are reported to have had a confrontation after the game, while it is claimed Mourinho had milk and water thrown at him from the away dressing room.

The home side is understood to have taken exception to City's post-match celebrations.

The Guardian reported that Arteta's eyebrow was split open during the melee in a narrow corridor outside City's dressing room and said there were unconfirmed reports that another member of Guardiola's backroom staff needed medical treatment.

The corridor leading to the dressing rooms apparently became congested as players and staff made their way through it after the game, and tensions spilled over into pushing and shoving, with Arteta understood to have suffered a cut to the head.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho greet each other at the end of the match.

Mourinho did not make any reference to what had happened during his post-match media work, according to the report.

The incident revived memories of an incident that took place in the same tunnel in October 2004 following United's 2-0 win over Arsenal, a result that ended Arsenal's 49-match unbeaten run in the league.

Cesc Fabregas, who played for Arsenal at the time, recently admitted to throwing pizza at then-United manager Alex Ferguson in a fracas that was later dubbed the "Battle of the Buffet".

There will be no footage of Sunday's incident in City's behind-the-scenes documentary being produced by Amazon Prime, which is charting the team's second season under coach Pep Guardiola and is scheduled to be broadcast next autumn.

United rejected City's request to allow cameras in the dressing room for the documentary.

Sunday's victory, courtesy of set-piece goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi, propelled City 11 points clear of United at the top of the EPL table, further enhancing its status as the red-hot favorite for the title.

Mourinho had accused City's players of diving and committing "tactical fouls" prior to the game and afterwards he made an unconvincing claim his side should have been awarded a late penalty when Ander Herrera was booked for diving.

But Guardiola said: "We won because we were better. In all departments, we were better."

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