Following Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday, Manuel Pellegrini has hit out at the tactics deployed by Jose Mourinho.
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City did most of the pressing as they pinned Chelsea back at the Etihad, even when they were reduced to 10-men following Pablo Zabaleta’s red card in the second half. But as Mourinho seems to do better than anybody else, he set his side up to leave with nothing less than a point and they almost nabbed all three.
Speaking after the match, in which former Chelsea star and current New York City FC loanee Frank Lampard equalized for City, Pellegrini had the following to say as he continues his public feud with Mourinho.
“I think we played 90 minutes against a small team trying to defend,” Pellegrini said, “I would not be happy to play that way. Ten players defended their own half, they scored a counter attack and they continued to defend until the end. I think we played against exactly the same team we played against Stoke here. It was very difficult for us to score but finally we did. The result is not what both teams did during 90 minutes.”
When told about Pellegrini’s post-game comments about his sides defensive tactics, Mourinho shrugged them off and hit back. “Many times he says he doesn’t speak about me or my team but he continues to do so. Don’t ask me about these words.”
The feud continues.
After Chelsea beat Man City 2-1 last October, Pellegrini refused to shake Mourinho’s hand at Stamford Bridge. In February this year, Pellegrini and Mourinho threw jibes back and forth about accusations of over-spending. This whole thing began as Mourinho replaced Pellegrini as Real Madrid boss over four years ago and it shows no signs of stopping.
The two favorites to win the Premier League played out a tight battle on Sunday in which, yes, Chelsea, the away side, took a more defensive approach. That is what Mourinho does, especially away from home, and his side almost grabbed all three points but will settle for a draw.
Both teams look like the strongest in the league and will be battling it out in May for the PL crown. That I am sure of. I’m also sure that we haven’t heard the end of this war of words between Pellegrini and Mourinho.