London: Arsene Wenger claimed Jose Mourinho is an embarrassment to the game after a passionate defence of his record at Arsenal on Sunday night.
The Gunners manager — furious with Chelsea boss Mourinho’s claims that he is “a specialist in failure” — blasted back after a 2-1 win over Liverpool put Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
“I’m embarrassed for him, honestly,” said Wenger. “I’m more disappointed for Chelsea than for me.”
Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski earned a last-eight crack at Everton at the Emirates next month. Steven Gerrard responded from the penalty spot.
Brendan Rodgers hit out at referee Howard Webb, who denied Liverpool a second penalty when Luis Suarez was hacked down by Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Arsenal manager is without a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup final shootout success against Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Wenger had claimed on Friday morning that “fear of failure” was the reason Barclays Premier League managers were ruling their teams out of the title race.
That prompted Mourinho’s extraordinary response at lunchtime on Friday and it appears that their relationship has once again hit rock bottom.
The Arsenal manager also confirmed that disciplinary action would be taken against Olivier Giroud after he apologised for taking a female companion back to the team hotel.
Married Giroud had consistently denied taking a girl to the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf the night before the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on February 2.
Wenger added: “It is an internal matter but I do not want to comment publicly because I respect his privacy.”
Giroud came on as a second half substitute for Arsenal yesterday and will face Roberto Martinez’s side on the weekend of March 8.
Liverpool had got back into the game when Steven Gerrard converted a penalty and the should have had another when Luis Suarez was felled by Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Incredibly referee Howard Webb ignored Liverpool’s penalty appeals.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: “It was a blatant penalty, more so than the first.
“I don’t know why Howard hasn’t given it, but maybe it was because it came to close to the first penalty.
“Suarez is clean and it should have been an easy decision. Suarez is the type of player to provoke challenges.”
Wenger added: “Maybe we were a bit lucky, but I rate Suarez as a player. It is always difficult to know with him if it was genuine contact or whether he made more of it because he is very good at it.
“It was crucial for us to respond to the disappointment of Liverpool defeat last week. I am pleased with the response, the determination and to take very opportunity.
“It was a great game between two teams. It was a fantastic FA Cup tie because people question the FA Cup but this was a great football performance. Liverpool is a very strong team.”
Wenger also claimed Arsenal have injury fears over Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Bacary Sagna and Tomas Rosicky ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich at the Emirates.
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler blasted Webb on Twitter: “Our best ref apparently…how can you miss that? Shocking decision.”
Draw for the quarter-finals of the English FA Cup made on Sunday:
Arsenal or Liverpool v Everton
Brighton and Hove Albion or Hull City v Sunderland
Sheffield United or Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
(Ties to be played on the weekend of March 8-9)