Jose Mourinho admitted he lost his cool after he goaded Juventus fans following Manchester United’s stunning late smash-and-grab win.
United scored twice in the last five minutes to condemn Juventus to a shock defeat, with Mourinho causing fresh controversy at the end by deliberately inciting the home fans.
Mourinho strode on to the pitch at the final whistle and goaded the baying Juventus fans by sarcastically cupping his hand to his ear and pretending he could not hear them boo him.
The United boss was confronted by Juve skipper Giorgio Chiellini and escorted off the pitch by United security staff as tempers flared at the end of an extraordinary game.
Mourinho admitted he should not have gone on to the pitch and inflamed the situation, but said he could not allow the Juve fans to insult him and his family, as they did throughout the game.
“I didn’t offend anyone at the end, I just made a gesture that I wanted to hear them louder,” said Mourinho, who held three fingers up to Juve fans at Old Trafford to denote the Treble he won with their arch rivals Inter.
“I probably shouldn’t have done it, and with a cool head I wouldn’t have done it, but with my family insulted, including my Inter family, I reacted like this.”
United’s shock win means their Champions League fate is in their hands, with two wins guaranteed to see them through to the last 16.
Mourinho hailed the spirit of his United side for turning the game in their favour after Ronaldo’s wonder strike looked to have won it for the Serie A leaders.
“It’s a fantastic victory for us,” said Mourinho.
“Even if this game didn’t end with victory I would have the same feeling that the team played really, really well from the first minute against a super team.
“I respect Juventus and the quality they have. I am really proud of my boys because they did everything. We had to come and not feel inferior.”
Former United star Paul Scholes, now a pundit for BT Sport, criticised Mourinho for winding up the Juve fans and said: “This is everywhere he goes.
“You need to win with a bit of class sometimes, shake the managers hand. I don’t think there’s any need for it but that’s the way he is.”