Thomas Tuchel admitted footage of his spat with Antonio Conte was hilarious – but insisted the refereeing blunder that cost Chelsea a win over Tottenham remains no laughing matter.
It was last Sunday when emotions ran so high in the London derby that both bosses were red-carded after the final whistle.
Touchline tensions had been soaring and came to a head when Tuchel refused to immediately let go of Conte in the post-match handshake, affronted that the Italian had avoided eye contact.
This sparked further words being said and several backroom staff from both teams having to separate the two, before referee Anthony Taylor showed both men his red card.
Football Association charges have followed for Tuchel and Conte, but Tuchel accepts there was an element of comedy about the whole episode, which has led to a string of internet memes.
"Of course we laugh, it's very important to laugh about yourselves," said Chelsea's German head coach.
"I was laughing in the dressing room. It was the heat of the match and for me it was not that bad. It was a handshake and a bit too long and heavy a handshake. I admit it, but no harm was done at least from my side.
"The thing would have been very, very quickly ended if there were not 20 people around us that made it look much worse than it was. Of course I laughed about myself.
"I hope they [the FA] do not make more out of it. It's not that big a deal for me. I have nothing but the biggest respect for him and this will not change because of that incident."
What still firmly rankles with Tuchel is how Taylor and video assistant referee Mike Dean failed to call a foul on Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella shortly before Tottenham snatched a last-gasp equaliser to force a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Anrgy for the result… Nice to meet you Blues! pic.twitter.com/prJm0L7q5d— Marc Cucurella (@cucurella3) August 14, 2022
Tottenham defender Cristian Romero appeared to pull Cucurella to the ground by his hair, and there was a pause in play while VAR official Dean took time to review the incident, but he decided against sending Taylor to the pitchside monitor and play was restarted.
Dean has since apologised for his error, but Tuchel said on Friday: "If the mistake is that big and that obvious, what's the point of not admitting it if the whole world sees it.
"I struggle a little to be fully impressed by the statement, I have to say. It is so clear and obvious, I still cannot understand how a referee cannot make the decision that was the right decision."
Tuchel later clarified to stress that he considered it was specifically Dean who "got it totally wrong" by not calling Taylor to take a closer look, and called for greater transparency in the decision-making process.
"Maybe they could explain the decisions on the field to everybody," Tuchel said.