LONDON • Jose Mourinho is facing a third touchline ban in little more than a year after being sent to the stands for the third time in 20 English Premier League football matches during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The incident occurred in the 27th minute. The furious United manager kicked a water bottle along the touchline after United midfielder Paul Pogba was booked by Jonathan Moss, the referee, for diving.
The official's decision was correct and, though Mourinho may have been unsighted from his vantage point, the manager faces a sanction that may be stronger than the one-game bans he had received for the previous two incidents.
It is just four weeks since Mark Clattenburg sent him to the stands for verbal misconduct in the draw with Burnley at Old Trafford and this falls well inside the 12-month period during which the Football Association can take previous incidents into account.
The first sending-off was just over a year ago when the 53-year-old was in charge of Chelsea - also against West Ham, at the Boleyn Ground, when Moss was also the referee.
The United boss' misdemeanours
With Chelsea: £5,000 (S$8,870) fine for accusing Manchester United of cheating during the League Cup semi-finals.
With Chelsea: £9,000 fine and two-match ban for criticising referee Anders Frisk after 2-1 Champions League defeat by Barcelona. June 2005
With Chelsea: £75,000 fine for tapping up Ashley Cole.
With Chelsea: £8,000 fine after being sent to the stands by Anthony Taylor during win over Cardiff. March 2014
With Chelsea: £8,000 fine after being sent to the stands by Chris Foy during defeat by Aston Villa.
With Chelsea: £10,000 fine for calling referee Mike Dean "fantastic" after defeat by Sunderland.
With Chelsea: £25,000 fine for claiming there was a campaign by referees against his side.
With Chelsea: £50,000 fine and one-match ban for criticising officials after a 3-1 defeat by Southampton.
With Chelsea: £40,000 fine and one-match ban for calling referee Jon Moss "f***ing weak" at half-time in a defeat by West Ham.
With Man United: £58,000 fine and one-match ban for being sent to the stands against Burnley and for comments about Taylor ahead of Liverpool match.
TOTAL IN FINES: £288,000
SOURCE: THE DAILY MAIL
Mourinho's assistant Rui Faria said of the latest incident: "I think everyone saw his frustration was shown in a situation that should be a free kick for us and finishes with a yellow card for Paul and out of the next match (the League Cup quarter-final - again with West Ham - at Old Trafford tomorrow).
"So there are maybe reasons to express some frustration. After that, things that are part of the game and the referee took a decision. But I think everything comes from a decision that should be the opposite way."
Faria may have been alluding to the view that Pogba might have won a free kick earlier in the same incident.
Moments before, Ander Herrera was adjudged to have fouled Dimitri Payet when the latter appeared to receive no contact and this also infuriated Mourinho.
Yet, whether any of this proves a mitigating circumstance for the Portuguese manager may depend on Moss' match report, which the FA is expected to receive no later than today.
By the time Mourinho was sent off, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had equalised an early opening goal from Diafra Sakho.
But, as has been the norm recently, Mourinho's team could not find a winner as they recorded a fourth consecutive home league draw - the first time since 1990 they have gone four home games without victory.
More worrying yet, United have now recorded their worst start to a season, after 13 games, since 1989-90, the season that saw Alex Ferguson famously win the FA Cup after surviving strenuous calls for his dismissal from supporters.
"We were the best team on the pitch," said Faria. "We didn't have any tactical issues during the game. Defensively, we were very compact. Offensively, we created the chances to win.
"It is not happening. We get frustrated. The only thing we need to do is keep working because then things will change for us."
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic sympathised with his opposite number for his latest disciplinary problems.
"I don't know if he deserved to be sent off, I don't know the rules," said Bilic. "I don't want any manager, especially him, to be sent off. It is hard to judge from our angle if it is a dive or a foul so I can understand it but I don't want him to be sent off."
But the West Ham manager saw promising signs of recovery in his team's display at Old Trafford.
"It is a difficult season," said Bilic, whose side are just a point above the drop zone.
"I am not happy with the position... But recently there are really good performances from us. It is only a matter of time when we get the points."
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE