Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini used his post-match press conference to take a passive-aggressive shot at the defensive soccer played by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
The clubs drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge, but Mourinho opted to play a tight defensive formation due to a wealth of injuries and a suspension. Diego Costa was banned three games for his petulant stamp on Emre Can in the League Cup, while Cesc Fabregas headlined a group of injured players.
And City charged out looking for a winner, forced to deal with a Blues lineup that started both Ramires and Nemanja Matic in addition to subbing in center back Gary Cahill late as a holding midfielder.
Pellegrini thought his charges were very good, but is disappointed to snare a solitary point.
From Sky Sports:
“We played a very good game. One team wanted to play from the beginning. The only chance Chelsea got they scored a beautiful goal. In the second half Chelsea defended very well, but I am very proud about our team – to have the personality to come here and try to win from first minute to end.
“We took the risks and tried to win. I don’t want to talk about what Chelsea tried to do. We wanted to win and have the possession. We have to play 45 points more. Chelsea stay five points in front. Maybe they are happy. I am never happy when we drop points.”
Fighting words, at least for Pellegrini. Mourinho skipped his post-match press conference, so we’ll have to wait for The Special One’s comments but surely he’ll be pleased to pick up a point.
Pellegrini is correct in saying Chelsea sat back, but it was the smart strategic thing to do given their player availability. I don’t blame Mourinho. Do you?