Chelsea, instead of pouring cooling water on the flames of passion that marred their 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion, are likely to have fuelled the fire after blaming Bryan Robson for sparking ugly scenes at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Bitter arguments on the pitch and the touchline, which could lead to both clubs being charged by the Football Association with intimidating referee Mark Halsey, are likely to continue today after Chelsea claimed that Robson was largely to blame.
"We felt that Bryan Robson set the tone for much of this from the first minute," a Chelsea spokesman said last night. "He was insulting our players and our bench virtually from the start. After 57 seconds, he was out of the dug-out accusing Damien Duff of diving and shouting at the referee and that general tone continued."
Robson and the Albion dug-out were doubtless staggered by Mourinho's pitch-side antics and the Albion manager, reacting to claims Chelsea laid against him, said last night: "You get back-chat between opposing managers and their benches at most games. Yesterday was no different.
"But I'm sure people will judge both myself and Jose Mourinho on our respective records of behaviour on the touchline.
"I did make my point regarding Dider Drogba's reaction to a non-tackle by Jonathan Greening and I felt justified in doing that - both during the game and afterwards.
"Again, I want to stress I have no axe to grind with Jose Mourinho. I invited him into my office after the game for a glass of wine, which is what I do with all visiting managers. However, he decided not to take up my invitation."
Mourinho had traded angry words with Robson when Chelsea were late coming on to the pitch after half time. The pair clashed again, later in the match, when Drogba seemed to over-react to a challenge from Albion's Greening.
Mourinho also offered ironic applause to Halsey after Arjen Robben's red card and exuberantly pumped his fists when his team scored. At the final whistle, the Portuguese strode on to the pitch to celebrate with his players as Robson waited to shake his hand.
After the match, Robson accused Drogba of diving. He said: "I thought Robben was a bit unfortu-nate to get sent off but Drogba tried to even it up. Jonathan Greening did not touch him - he dived.
"Jose Mourinho had a different opinion to me but at least the referee did not buy it. I thought we should have had a penalty when Kevin Campbell was bundled over. But overall I thought the referee handled the game quite well."
Robson was also angry that Chelsea delayed the start of the second half. He said: "The bell had gone ages ago and our players had gone out to get on with the game. For whatever reason Chelsea came out late. Whether they believe it takes the sting out of the game or drops the tempo, I don't know.
"But it annoyed me as my players wanted to get on with the second half. For me, if the bell has gone, why wait for the players who were late? If they are not there, get on with the game. I am happy to play Chelsea with nine men."
Chelsea could be charged by the Premier League with unsporting behaviour because of their tardiness but Halsey is believed to have mentioned the behaviour of both sets of players. Neither the FA nor the Premier League had received Halsey's match report last evening.
The champions could be charged with intimidating the referee because their players surrounded him after he showed Robben the red card. Chelsea claim the reaction of their players was sparked by Albion's Paul Robinson who, they claim, ran to the referee to encourage him to produce the red card.
Chelsea arrived in Barcelona last night for the second leg of their Champions' League tie tomorrow. Mourinho and his players, who must overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit, were met at the airport by a group of hostile Barca fans who hurled insults at the Chelsea players and their manager and spat at the team bus as it left the airport. After the first leg Mourinho accused Barca's Argentinian starlet Lionel Messi of "play-acting".