Some details emerged on Monday, but it’s now Tuesday and there are more claims…
* Let’s start with the Daily Mail and the greatest graphic of all time…
— Emma Stump (@Pisci) December 12, 2017
The Mail claim ‘astonishing new details’ have emerged, and our favourite sentence of all time reads: ‘A bare-chested Rojo led United’s players in defence of manager Mourinho after he was hit on the head by a water bottle thrown from the City dressing room, igniting a brawl between 20 or 30 players and staff from both teams.’
They quote a source as saying: “Jose went absolutely ballistic when the bottle hit him. There was steam coming out of his ears, and then everyone waded in.”
They say that Michael Carrick was heard shouting: “Show some f***ing respect.”
Like most media outlets, the Mail claim the trouble started when Mourinho went to the City dressing-room to complain about exuberant celebrations and ended up in a heated argument with City goalkeeper Ederson. The United manager was apparently hit by a bottle and by water. That led to Rojo being followed by Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw and what is described as a ‘rugby scrum’.
They say that punches were thrown and ‘one is believed to have landed on Fernandinho, while City captain Vincent Kompany and match-winner Nicolas Otamendi were heavily involved’.
* Over to The Sun and they have some handy bullet points, the first of which claims that ‘furious United striker Romelu Lukaku tried to clamber past boss Jose Mourinho and slam dunk the heads of City players’. Slam dunk the heads? How do you even do that?
They agree that Kompany was heavily involved and claim that Mourinho shouted: “Shut up, you’ve won nothing yet. Show some respect, this is the home of United not you.”
They claim that punches were thrown but not connected, while both clubs now agree that the cut on Mikel Arteta’s head ‘was due to him banging his head on the dressing-room door and NOT from a bottle thrown by Lukaku’.
* The Daily Mirror offer few new details but say one ‘independent witness near the dressing room area said they had never heard music played so loud’. They also describe Kompany as ‘one of the main aggressors’.
* Over to The Guardian and Jamie Jackson writes: ‘The Portuguese is viewed as having reacted adversely to his team’s defeat, with one onlooker informing the Guardian that the manager became angry with the City goalkeeper Ederson, saying: “You f**king show respect. Who are you?”
‘City believe this led to the bust-up and that Romelu Lukaku was prominently involved, too.’
It’s all a bit ‘he said, she said’ as United claim that Lukaku ‘was not a prime mover in the brawl’ but that Kompany had to be restrained, which is something that City deny.
* The Daily Telegraph’s opening paragraph is spectacular: ‘Romelu Lukaku was accused of acting “like a second-row rugby player” as he tried to get to Manchester City’s players during the extraordinary tunnel bust-up…’
Insert your own punchline here about Lukaku apparently trying to play every sport but football on Sunday.
* In Spain, there is a whole new claim emerging, with Marca saying that problems were initially sparked by a City player saying to Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “You talk a lot but move very little.”