Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini were at loggerheads again last night after the Portuguese responded angrily to the Manchester City manager’s claim that Chelsea were a “small” team who had played like Stoke City in the clubs' hard-fought 1-1 draw.
The pair's dislike of each other dates to Mourinho succeeding Pellegrini at Real Madrid in 2010 and Mourinho used his old strategy of mocking the 61-year-old - calling him "Mr Pellegrino" - after the Chilean’s taunt.
Pellegrini said: "We played against a small team trying to defend, trying to keep 10 players in front of their goal and a team that wanted to win from the beginning."
Mourinho's frustrations were compounded by Frank Lampard scoring City's equaliser five minutes from time to secure the draw. Asked about the "drama" of the 36-year-old scoring, Mourinho replied: "Dramatic? Why? He used to play for Chelsea and [Luis] Suarez used to play for Liverpool and now plays for Barcelona. What is the drama of the situation? For me, there is no drama.
"I don't speak about players from other teams, I am sorry. I don't speak about Frank. To speak about Frank is to speak about my past with Frank, the player he was for what he means in my career. I will never tire to speak about this. The moment he is a Man City player, he is a Man City player. I don't speak about other teams' players.
"Mr Pellegrino, instead of speaking about other teams' players, should speak about Frank Lampard. I am Chelsea manager, I speak about my players. My players did fantastic."
Pellegrini has expressed disapproval for negative football from Mourinho ever since the two of them began their current jobs last season. "It is so important to play like a big team, and not like a small team," he said last night. "I would not be happy to play that way. We continue with the same ambition, teams will find it hard to beat us."
Mourinho hit back: "We had a tactical reaction to try to win the game. They had an emotional reaction to try not to lose." (© Independent News Service)