Jose Mourinho hit back at braying Chelsea fans by saying he remains the club's greatest manager, while producing a bizarre U-turn on taking responsibility for a lack of European football at Stamford Bridge this season.
Mourinho suffered another woeful return to Chelsea as his side lost 1-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals, following on from a 4-0 hammering on the same ground in October by the runaway Premier League leaders.
The Portuguese and his successor Antonio Conte clashed on the touchline after Ander Herrera was dismissed in the first half, prompting a chorus of 'Judas' chants, among others, from the home faithful aimed at their former manager.
Mourinho told a news conference: "They can call me what they want.
"Until the moment they have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I'm the number one.
"When they have somebody that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I become number two. Until this moment Judas is number one."
The United manager has routinely put Chelsea's success this term - they are 10 points clear atop the Premier League table - down to a lack of European football at the club, after last season's dreadful campaign which cost Mourinho his job.
Pre-match Mourinho said: "it's my fault and the players' fault." However, sensing that his rough treatment was borne out of a frustration surrounding a season anchored to domestic fare, he had a different angle after the game.
Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 13, 2017
"The only thing is we are playing in Europe and our opponent isn't," he said. "Our opponent could because when I left the club last season I left them in the Champions League, winning the Champions League group and qualifying for the Champions League knockout group.
"Playing the second leg at home and having the advantage of winning the Champions League group. So if they win the Champions League last year then they could be playing in Europe this season.
"It is not my fault, it is the fault of the ones that stayed here and didn't qualify for the Champions League. It is the fact that we didn't have a good Premier League."