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Conte vs Tuchel, Pizza-gate and football's biggest touchline bust-ups

4:29 PM IST 15/08/22
Thomas Tuchel Antonio Conte Alex Ferguson Arsene Wenger Alan Pardew David Meyler
GOAL runs through the most shocking technical area theatrics in football history

Football is a game full of passion. Some players and managers are capable of controlling their emotions, but others see it spill out a little too frequently.

As GOAL outlines below, touchline bust-ups can make for great viewing and have become just another reason why we all love the beautiful game.

  • Roberto Mancini David Moyes 2010

    #11 Roberto Mancini vs David Moyes (2010)

    Fiery Italian meets red-haired Scot, with Mancini and Moyes locking horns towards the end of a Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium in 2010. Everton were on their way to a notable 2-0 victory over Manchester City, but their manager felt the need to try to waste time towards the end of that contest.

    An opportunity to do just that presented itself in the closing stages when the ball ran out of play and into Moyes’ arms. He was in no rush to get the game going again, much to the disgust of Mancini – who opted to take matters into his own hands.

    A tussle broke out as Mancini sought to wrestle the ball back from Moyes, with the fourth official and match referee having to intervene before both coaches were sent to the stands. The incident quickly blew over, as both men sat down for a post-game glass of wine, but they were charged with improper conduct after acting like a couple of school children.

  • Jurgen Klopp Frank Lampard Liverpool Chelsea 2020

    #10 Jurgen Klopp vs Frank Lampard (2020)

    Liverpool hosted Chelsea in their final home game of the 2019-20 season. Many will remember it as the day the Reds finally lifted the Premier League trophy after so many years, however, others will recall it for the altercation between two managers.

    Liverpool were awarded a free-kick 36 minutes into the game which Chelsea manager Lampard did not agree with. A few words were exchanged between himself and Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders, resulting in Lampard telling him to "f*ck off and sit down." Klopp kept his cool, but Lampard was not happy, picking on more members of Liverpool's backroom staff.

    The game was played behind closed doors, and as such, most of what was said was caught on camera. Lampard can be heard saying "only league title you've ever won and you're giving it the f*cking big 'un." Ouch.

    Ironically, Trent Alexander-Arnold expertly dispatched the free-kick and Liverpool went on to win 5-3. Not Frank's finest hour!

  • Arsene Wenger Alan Pardew Arsenal West Ham 2006

    #9 Arsene Wenger vs Alan Pardew (2006)

    Wenger may have come across as a softly-spoken student of the game, but ‘Le Professeur’ could lose his cool with the best of them and was partial to the odd bout of touchline theatrics. Former Newcastle and West Ham boss Pardew proved to be a thorn in his side on a regular basis, with the pair often butting heads.

    One particular incident at Upton Park in 2006 saw them almost come to blows, with Wenger taking issue with wild celebrations on the Hammers bench after Marlon Harewood netted a late winner against his Arsenal side in east London.

    Wenger appeared to shove and swear at Pardew before refusing to shake hands afterwards or conduct post-match interviews. The Gunners boss was later fined £10,000 ($12,000) by the Football Association (FA) and would never rebuild bridges with a rival manager that had a tendency to push his buttons.

  • James McArthur Nigel Pearson

    #8 Nigel Pearson vs James McArthur (2015)

    McArthur must have wondered what was going on when, after being sent sprawling to the turf under a challenge from a Leicester player, he suddenly found himself with the hands of Foxes boss Pearson around his neck!

    The Scot had taken an unfortunate, and entirely accidental, tumble into Pearson as he prowled the touchline. Despite there being no malice on the part of the Crystal Palace midfielder, a coach that was renowned for both his bark and bite was less than impressed at ending up on the deck himself.

    Pearson claimed that his antics had been meant in jest, but McArthur admitted to being “a bit scared” at finding himself forced to the ground by the throat. The incident was truly bizarre and it comes as something of a surprise to find that Alan Pardew – who was occupying the opposing dugout – did not get involved!

  • Jack Charlton Republic of Ireland

    #7 Jack Charlton vs FIFA official (1994)

    Jack Charlton, a 1966 World Cup winner as a player with England, became a cult hero with the Republic of Ireland when leading them to the 1994 World Cup finals in America. The Irish enjoyed a famous victory over Italy at that tournament, but suffered a 2-1 defeat to Mexico in their second outing that made just as many headlines.

    That is because a bizarre incident involving a second-half substitution led to several members of the Ireland camp losing their cool in the stifling heat of Orlando. John Aldridge was supposed to be brought on in place of Owen Coyle, but saw his introduction delayed – despite a team-mate heading to the bench – as the relevant paperwork failed to make it to the fourth official.

    Aldridge was incensed, branding a FIFA representative a “f*cking cheat”, while Charlton confronted the same official and was less than impressed at being pushed in the chest. He was eventually fined and handed a one-game touchline ban, with the no-nonsense North East native having never been one to back down from a challenge.

  • Thomas Tuchel, Antonio Conte

    #6 Thomas Tuchel vs Antonio Conte (2022)

    Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte played out one of the most entertaining touchline exchanges in recent years as they squared up on a number of occasions during a Premier League clash between Chelsea and Tottenham.

    Tempers first flared when Spurs scored an equaliser from a passage of play that stemmed from a tackle by Rodrigo Bentancur. Conte charged into the Chelsea dugout to celebrate, angering the already incensed Tuchel and leading to both of them receiving a booking.

    Reece James then put Chelsea ahead, sending Stamford Bridge and Tuchel wild as the German sprinted down the touchline to celebrate.

    Tottenham equalised in the sixth of seven minutes of stoppage time, and the pair shared a final exchange while shaking hands before seeing red. Both are likely to receive touchline bans following their antics.

  • Mourinho Vilanova

    #5 Jose Mourinho vs Barcelona (2011)

    Mourinho cannot stray too far from a good old touchline altercation, can he? This is perhaps one of the most famous bust-ups of all time, as Barcelona and Real Madrid clashed at Camp Nou in the Super Copa.

    A senseless tackle from Marcelo on Cesc Fabregas started the brawl, with the Brazilian seeing red for his challenge. What ensued was pure madness. Both sets of coaching teams flooded onto the pitch, pulling their players away from each other, trying to keep the occasion as pleasant as possible. Mesut Ozil, David Villa and even Fabregas, who was victim to the awful challenge that started the chain of events, all saw red as a result.

    While emotions ran high, Mourinho saw his chance to strike. He crept up behind Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova and gouged his eye. No, really. Vilanova reacted, turning around and pushing Jose. The Real Madrid boss just smiled, shrugging off the reaction. They both received bans, two games for Mourinho and one for Vilanova, but neither had to serve them as the Spanish FA lifted suspensions ahead of the new season.

  • Rangers Celtic 2011

    #4 Neil Lennon vs Ally McCoist (2011)

    The Old Firm between Celtic and Rangers is one of the best derbies in world football. Two extremely passionate sets of fans and Scotland's two most successful teams. However, it will take a lot to beat the match which happened in March 2011. Thirteen yellow cards and THREE red cards were shown, however the square off between McCoist and Lennon remains the iconic moment from the game.

    Steven Whittaker, El Hadji Diouf and Madjid Bougherra all saw red for the Gers as they lost 1-0. 34 people were arrested inside the stadium and 187 more outside. McCoist and Lennon very nearly came to blows after the full-time whistle, as they squared up to each other.

    Had they not been separated they almost certainly would have got physical, but they were ultimately pulled apart. They both received touchline bans for misconduct – Lennon's stretching to four games as it was his second such offence in two seasons, while McCoist was stung with a two-game suspension

  • David Meyler Alan Pardew

    #3 Alan Pardew vs David Meyler (2014)

    Another incident involving Pardew, who picked up an unfortunate habit of getting himself into trouble during an incident-filled stint as a Premier League manager at various clubs. His antics while in charge of Newcastle during a meeting with Hull City can be considered the most baffling of a long list of questionable displays in the dugout.

    The Magpies eased past the Tigers 4-1 during a top-flight clash in the spring of 2014, but their head coach was sent to the stands and later fined £60,000 ($72,500) after aiming a headbutt in the direction of Meyler.

    The pair came together as Meyler sought to retrieve the ball after it had gone out of play, only to be confronted by Pardew as he sought to slow things down. Words were exchanged, with the air turned a little blue, before the Newcastle boss attempted to remove the Hull man from his personal space by using his forehead!

  • Jose Mourinho Arsene Wenger Chelsea Arsenal

    #2 Jose Mourinho vs Arsene Wenger (2014)

    Mourinho and Wenger never saw eye to eye. Mourinho's Chelsea dethroned Arsenal's 'Invincibles' in the Portuguese manager's first season with the Blues, setting the rivalry off to a fiery start.

    The feud between the two reached boiling point in 2014 when Wenger pushed Mourinho following an altercation on the touchline. The Frenchman had been incensed by a challenge from Gary Cahill on Alexis Sanchez and made his way into the Chelsea technical area, where Mourinho stood. Wenger was ushered back to his own dugout, which he did not take kindly to and shoved Mourinho. The pair were given a talking to and no further action was taken.

    Following the incident, Wenger said: “What is there to regret? I wanted to go from A to B, and somebody confronted me before B without any sign of welcome. B was Sanchez, to see how badly he was injured."

    Mourinho claimed if he had been the aggressor, a big punishment would have been given. "I’m not surprised, I’m not surprised. (Me) charged? Charged? If it was me it would have been a stadium ban."

  • arsene wenger alex ferguson - cropped

    #1 Sir Alex Ferguson vs Arsene Wenger (2004)

    Sir Alex and Wenger did not enjoy the closest of friendships for many years, with it all coming to the boil on one eventful night in 2004. Arsenal arrived at Old Trafford 49 games unbeaten. However, events from 12 months previous ensured that we got one of the most fabled stories in Premier League folklore.

    On the Gunners' previous visit to Manchester, Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a penalty 10 minutes after he got Patrick Vieira sent off, leading to a host of Arsenal players gloating directly in the face of the Dutch striker. United were still reeling from this defeat and had a point to prove. Coming full circle, a Van Nistelrooy penalty and a goal from a young Wayne Rooney gave the Red Devils a 2-0 win. What followed was extraordinary.

    Wenger confronted Van Nistelrooy for a tackle he committed in the early stages, but Ferguson interrupted and told the Frenchman to back off. Wenger apparently ran at Ferguson with his fists raised asking him, "What are you going to do about it?" Out of nowhere, a slice of pizza, yes a slice of pizza, flew through the tunnel and struck Ferguson, causing him to change his clothes for the post-match interviews. Later it was revealed that Cesc Fabregas was the culprit for throwing the pizza. Probably one of the weirdest altercations we have heard of, but certainly the best.