A furious Antonio Conte insisted his former side Juventus ‘need more sportsmanship and respect’ after the Inter Milan boss engaged in a heated post-match bust-up with his former president Andrea Agnelli.
Juventus held out admirably for a goalless draw in Turin to progress to the Coppa Italia final after a 2-1 win on aggregate on Tuesday night – but that was only half the story.
Italian outlet RAI reported that Conte directed a middle finger gesture at Agnelli at half-time and then following the full-time whistle, the ecstatic Juve chief raced from his seat down towards the Inter bench, and was heard shouting: ‘f*** off, shut up you a***hole’.
Conte was not keen to elaborate on the exchange at the end but fumed that the blame lay with his former employers.
‘Juventus should tell the truth,’ he told RAI 1.
‘I think the fourth official heard and saw what happened throughout the match.
‘They should be more polite in my opinion. They need more sportsmanship and respect for those who work.’
Pressed for further details by reporters in his post-match press conference, Conte said he had no ‘desire’ to talk about it.
He said: ‘What happened at the end of the game? I have neither the desire nor the pleasure to comment on anything.
‘I think that in all things there must be education. Enough.’
Tensions were already bubbling between the two sides when Leonardo Bonucci took aim to criticise Conte for touchline histrionics over some of the decisions made by the referee, in particular the decision not to award Inter a first-half penalty.
Lautaro Martinez went down claiming a penalty when he kicked the ground next to Federico Bernardeschi.
Soon after, a yellow card was shown to Matteo Darmian for a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo.
The decision enraged Conte and a row between Bonucci, who was on the Juventus bench, occurred as picked up by TV cameras.
‘You must respect the referee,’ Bonucci fired in Conte’s direction.
Conte has a rich history with Juventus, having had tremendous success with them as both a player and a manager.
As a player, Conte won five Serie A titles and made more than 500 appearances for the Italian giants in a star-studded midfield.
Agnelli brought Conte back to the club in 2011 as manager to succeed Luigi Delneri and the 51-year-old oversaw a great period of success as manager, winning three straight Serie A titles.
But things quickly soured between Conte and president Agnelli. The relationship with Agnelli became strained and Conte stepped down in 2014 with the club in the middle of pre-season.
Taking over at bitter rivals Inter Milan only further strengthened the divide between some Juventus supporters and their old manager.
Only a year ago, Agnelli was playing down the rumoured feud and claimed he would be welcomed back to Turin with open arms – it appears that is no longer the case.
‘Conte is a Juventus fan, a captain, he won the Scudetto,’ Agnelli told Radio 24 last year.
‘I have no fear thinking he’s not. We have a friendly and relaxed relationship, as we should. We’re professionals.’