Mourinho reacts to Pellegrini 'small-team' comments; takes dig at City tactics

Mourinho Press Conference Still

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho appeared frustrated by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini's comments that the Blues had played like a 'small-team'.

Jose Mourinho has taken a dig at Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini's tactics after the Chilean accused Chelsea of playing like a 'small-team' in the match between the two teams at the weekend. 

City and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and the Blues system appeared to frustrate Pellegrini. 

The Citizen's manager felt that Chelsea, who utilised a defensive approach to the game, had played like a lesser side in the Premier League who didn't appear like they wanted to win the game. 

"I think we played 90 minutes against a small team trying to defend, trying to keep 10 players in front of their goal, and [we were] a team that wanted to win from the beginning," Pellegrini said to the London Evening Standard.

"I think we played against exactly the same team we played against Stoke here."

Stoke managed to pick up a 1-0 win by exploiting City on the counter, so the approach was not too ill-conceived from Mourinho, but he was clearly frustrated by the 61-year-old's criticism.

"Many times he says he never speaks about me and my team but he keeps doing the same thing," Mourinho said.

"I am the one that does as he says. I don't comment on his words. Don't ask me about his words, I am not interested in that."

Last season Chelsea picked up a 1-0 victory over City, as they struck on the counter to great effect.

The pattern of that match was almost repeated yesterday, when Andre Schurrle put Mourinho's side into the lead, but City did manage to hit back thanks to Frank Lampard.

The Chelsea legend came back to haunt his former club, but Mourinho is likely to be happier with the point than Pellegrini. 

City are already playing catch-up with the London side after their impressive start, and a draw would have been seen as a good result by the Portuguese boss before the game started.

Chelsea, in general, have played with a more attacking style so far this season, but Mourinho is famed for his different tactical approaches depending on the opposition's strengths and it will be interesting to see whether he reverts to a more counter-attacking style against the title chasers for the remainder of the season. 

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch