MANUAL Pellegrini described Chelsea as a â€œsmall teamâ€ and compared their style with Stoke City during a tetchy end to their 1-1 draw at Manchester City that had JosÃ© Mourinho once again getting his rivalâ€™s name wrong and accusing â€œMr Pellegrinoâ€ of double standards.
Mourinho was annoyed when he found out Pellegrini had questioned Chelseaâ€™s tactics after City recovered from 1-0 down to rescue a point with Frank Lampardâ€™s first goal in their colours, against the club he served for 13 years.
Pellegrini had said he could not take any satisfaction from a game of so few chances and made it clear he blamed Chelsea, adding: â€œWe played during 90 minutes against a small team trying to defend, trying to keep 10 players in front of their goal and [against] a team that wanted to win from the beginning.
â€œIt was very similar to the Stoke team, with a big team playing against a small team with very good players, trying to defend, trying to keep the score [nil-nil]. They had nine players in front of their box. I said last week that it will be very difficult for us to defend the title because every team will play the way Chelsea did. I repeat that I think they had no intention to win the game. They came just to draw and they scored on the counterattack against 10 players.â€
Pablo Zabaleta was sent off midway through the second half, with AndrÃ© SchÃ¼rrle opening the scoring for Chelsea five minutes later, and Pellegrini said it was a match he could not enjoy. â€œNo pleasure. It was not a pleasure to draw. Losing with one man less, we continued attacking and they continued defending. We understand what is football. We try for the game, for the people. I cannot be happy with a draw today because, I repeat, it was totally different between the two teams. Trying to play as a big team â€¦ that, for me, is the most important thing.â€
That drew a spiky response from Mourinho, using a name for Pellegrini that he first brought out when their relationship started to deteriorate as rival managers in Spain. â€œPellegrino? Many times he says he never speaks about me and my team but he keeps doing the same thing. I am the one that does as he says [not talk about the opposition]. I donâ€™t comment on his words. Donâ€™t ask me about his words, I am not interested in that.â€
Mourinho returned to his point when he was asked about Lampardâ€™s contribution. â€œI donâ€™t speak about players from other teams, I am sorry. He is a Man City player and I donâ€™t speak about other teamsâ€™ players. Mr Pellegrino, instead of speaking about other teamsâ€™ players, should speak about Frank Lampard. I am Chelsea manager and I speak about my players.â€
Lampard, a second-half substitute, had refused to celebrate his goal out of respect for his former club. â€œItâ€™s a really difficult one. Iâ€™d be unprofessional if I didnâ€™t come on and do my job but itâ€™s a tough one for me. I had 13 amazing years with the Chelsea fans, so I am mixed with it. I am pleased the team I play for got a draw but I am a little lost for words. I didnâ€™t expect to come on and score like that. I came on and the Chelsea fans were singing, and that was emotional. Then I am playing for this club, who have taken me in brilliantly as well, so I am really stuck in the middle.â€ – The Guardian