Jose Mourinho praised his Manchester United side for a sober reaction to their midweek victory against Bournemouth, pointedly noting "I don't like a circus when you win".
Previewing Sunday's trip to West Brom provided the Portuguese with the opportunity to criticise the runaway Premier League leaders by praising his own team's muted response to their faltering midweek win over Bournemouth.
The Red Devils boss made no mention of last weekend's ill-tempered derby, or the post-match fracas which unfolded when Mourinho reportedly became unhappy at the scale of Manchester City's celebrations.
But those events loomed heavily in the subtext as he assessed the manner in which his players respond to setbacks and successes.
"I don't like a circus when you win and you're happy. I don't like a sad place when you lose and you're not happy," he said.
"I like an emotional balance and that's what I found here (on Thursday). Bournemouth was a difficult match and we coped with it, we did our work. Back to normality.
"The next day after City the place was normal as I like it to be. I like balance."
Both United and City had until 6pm on Friday to provide their observations to the Football Association over the melee, which allegedly saw water and milk thrown at him, with City coach Mikel Arteta sustaining a cut to the head.
Mourinho's preference for an even temperament may also go some way to explaining Romelu Lukaku's muted reaction to netting the winner against the Cherries.
It was just a second goal in 10 Premier League outings for the Belgian and came after a conspicuously disappointing performance against City.
But Lukaku's lack of obvious joy did not surprise his manager in the context of the game.
"I didn't celebrate either. I don't celebrate goals in a very enthusiastic way," he said.
"I control my emotions. After that goal there is a long time to go and anything can happen in football. I'm not acting to the cameras or the fans. Romelu scores goals quite regularly
"It was a nice goal with 20 minutes to go. Maybe tomorrow - and I mean one of the future matches - he scores a goal that he feels with a different emotion.
"If you score a goal in the last minute that gives you the victory in the last minute then yes. you lose your balance and you don't control your emotion: you react in an emotional way."