Slaven Bilic believes Jose Mourinho only got into trouble with the Football Association because he caught the water bottle too well.
Manchester United manager Mourinho was sent to the stands during the 1-1 draw against Bilic’s West Ham on Sunday after showing his frustration at the decision to book Paul Pogba for a dive.
Mourinho did not make the grade as a player, yet his technique was flawless as he swung his right foot and launched the plastic bottle along the touchline at Old Trafford to earn his marching orders.
And Hammers boss Bilic smiled: “The problem is that he hit that bottle like - well it was a great volley, to be fair.
“He should have miskicked it! He hit it too good.”
Pogba went down after a challenge by West Ham skipper Mark Noble, with replays showing the Hammers midfielder did not touch the France midfielder.
But Bilic added: “Why I have sympathy with him is that situation with Pogba, it really looked from our angle - and he was close to me - that it didn’t look like a dive.
“It was obvious, and it was a great decision from the referee. But from our point it did not look like a dive.”
Bilic cuts a far more placid figure on the touchline than the likes of Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp or Antonio Conte, but he has still fallen foul of officials in the past.
The Croatian recalled: “I was sent off once in a game against Arsenal when I managed Besiktas, in the last minute of the game.
“I gesticulated too much, but the referee was Serbian so he understood me! I apologised after the game.”
Bilic will be back alongside Mourinho at Old Trafford on tonight as the sides lock horns again, this time in the EFL Cup.
“We are going to try the ones who showed a good mentality, good training, good quality and good fitness,” Bilic said. “It’s a big chance for them.”