Mourinho unleashes both barrels with a lady on his lap

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Italy... a country united by its love of ham and hammy TV shows.

There was an important World Cup qualifier taking place on Wednesday. But in the local watering holes of Milan all the talk was about how embarrassed Jose Mourinho looked when treated to a lap-dance of sorts by Aussie babe Dannah Matthews on the Chiambretti Night show.

The programme airs on one of the Silvio Berlusconi channels and can only be described as a bizarre mix of political satire, drag queens and lots of bottoms – something akin to Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament.

"Oh go on then, just a quick one"

Mourinho’s appearance certainly witnessed the Portuguese plummet the depths of lame jokes and the lowest form of wit: sarcasm.

On his new target of scorn, Carlo Ancelotti: “He may have won the Champions League twice but he is the only man to have lost it after holding a 3-0 lead at half-time.”

On the difference between himself and his predecessor at Inter, Roberto Mancini: “When Roberto was knocked out of Europe he went into hiding but I went out and asked questions, why?”

And the all-time classic - when describing what it was like to coach the Nerazzurri - “I feel like Robin Hood.”

Yes, robbing professional comedians of valuable air time.

It was April Fool’s Day after all, so when the discussion over whether Mourinho should have his mouth taped shut for the rest of the season had died down, most of those watching the Italy game thought it was something of a wind-up that the Azzurri had decided to play Ireland with 10 men.

State broadcaster RAI, who gave the game the full gravitas it deserved by cutting to an advertisement break whenever the ball went out of play - and on one occasion when it was in danger of leaving the field of play - just about missed Giampaolo Pazzini’s early sending off.

In fact, the commentators were initially baffled at why the forward was walking towards the touchline after laying out John O’Shea.

However, on the bright side, it was the perfect opportunity to sell some more bottled water before returning to a couple of replays to ascertain just why the Samp man had been given his marching orders.

Pazzini gets an early bath

“If you draw blood you are going to see red,” was one explanation which sounded witty enough in Italian but may lose something in translation.

After that, it was like watching one of Giovanni Trappatoni’s Azzurri sides when they had 11 men.

Defensive midfielders and defenders were rubbing their hands with glee, while little Giuseppe Rossi kissed goodbye to making anything other than a fleeting appearance.

When Italy trooped off at half-time holding a surprise 1-0 lead and Andrea Pirlo – the team’s only ball-player – failed to return, attention began to wander off to other pressing matters such as maybe getting an early night.

At that stage, RAI could have aired a whole series of ads without really disrupting proceedings.

But then, of course, just when everyone thought the thin blue line would hold on, up popped Robbie Keane to cheer all the Inter fans up.

Robbie rescues a point

At least RAI hung around for a quick word with Marcello Lippi, who for once lost his cool in front of cameras and started rambling about foreign referees.

Of course, they didn’t want the coach going on for too long as a few more ads had to be squeezed in before the late news.

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