Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini were at loggerheads again tonight 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.
Manchester City 1 Chelsea 1 player ratings
Manchester City 1 Chelsea 1 player ratings
1/24 Manchester City: Joe Hart 5
Didn’t have much to do, and couldn’t have prevented Andre Schurrle’s goal.
2/24 Pablo Zabaleta 5
Got forward again and again to support the City attacks, but put his side in trouble when he was sent off in the 65th minute for a second booking.
3/24 Vincent Kompany 6
Dealt well with the threat of Diego Costa in what was a typically accomplished performance.
4/24 Eliaquim Mangala 5
A solid debut from the Frenchman, who looked strong when called upon.
5/24 Aleksandar Kolarov 5
Didn’t offer a great deal going forward but solid defensively.
6/24 Yaya Toure 5
Still a long way from his best, and unable to dictate the pace of the match.
7/24 James Milner 7
Impressive stuff from the England midfielder, who played in three different positions throughout the match, and never stopped working. Provided excellent volleyed assist for Lampard’s goal.
8/24 David Silva 5
A few nice touches, but drifted in and out of the game. Picked up first-half booking.
9/24 Fernandinho 5
Booked in the early stages, which forced the midfielder to curb his naturally combative instincts. Less effective as a result.
10/24 Sergio Aguero 6
Almost scored in the second half with effort from inside the box, but mostly starved of chances.
11/24 Edin Dzeko 5
Worked hard, but didn’t pose much of a threat. Sacrificed for Bacary Sagna after the Zabaleta sending off.
12/24 Frank Lampard 9
Took his goal brilliantly with a trademark volleyed finish, and nearly scored with a couple of other decent efforts. A truly unforgettable 12-minute cameo against his former club.
13/24 Thibaut Courtois 6
Made decent save to deny Aguero in the second half, and looked calm and composed throughout.
14/24 Gary Cahill 6
Kept Dzeko quiet, and stood up well whenever Aguero tried to take him on.
15/24 Branislav Ivanovic 7
Galloped forward to support the attack that led to Schurrle’s goal, and didn’t put a foot wrong defensively.
16/24 Cesar Azpilicueta 6
Dealt well with Silva, and never looked like getting caught out down his side.
17/24 John Terry 6
Marshalled the defence effectively, and largely untroubled.
18/24 Cesc Fabregas 5
A quiet afternoon from the former Arsenal man, who did very little apart from a lovely through ball to Diego Costa late on.
19/24 Willian 5
Worked hard defensively but offered very little going forward. Taken off after an hour.
20/24 Eden Hazard 6
Created Schurrle’s goal with a sumptuous cross, but was peripheral for the most part.
21/24 Ramires 5
Did brilliantly to clear in his own box when Dzeko was about to pounce. Booked in the first half and substituted with an hour gone.
22/24 Nemanja Matic 7
Outmuscled Yaya Toure, which takes some doing, and afforded good protection to his back four. Booked in the first half.
23/24 Diego Costa 6
Gave as good as he got physically against Kompany and Mangala, and unlucky not to score when left-footed effort cannoned off the post.
24/24 Andre Schurrle 6
Scored just eight minutes after coming on, but lost Milner for Lampard’s goal.
“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 muted 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 tonight. “I would not be happy to play that way. We continue with the same ambition, teams will find it hard to beat us. The team performance was very good.”
The City manager, who refused to discuss Pablo Zabaleta’s sending off, said that Lampard urged him for a role against his old club. “He always wanted to be involved in these games from the beginning,” he said. “I spoke with him at the beginning of the week and he wanted to be involved, he is a very good player and a great professional so I am very happy with him.”
Mourinho, whose side are three points clear at the top of the Premier League, claimed it had been Chelsea who were positive and City the negative ones. “We had a tactical reaction to try to win the game. They had an emotional reaction to try not to lose the game,” he declared. “We were successful in our tactical change to try and win the game because we score and had more chances to score. They were successful in their emotional reaction and I think in the end from my perspective the point is maybe a point that they deserve. I look to the table and we are leaders with three points.”Reuse content