• Premier League

They're not big and they're not clever!

ESPN staff
March 31, 2014
ESPN FC: City's title chase

Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed Jose Mourinho's attempt to rule Chelsea out of the title race and claimed the type of mind games the Chelsea manager plays are not clever.

The pair have clashed repeatedly this season as Mourinho has tried to put pressure on Manchester City, starting his claims that their squad strength and position in the league has made them favourites earlier in the season.

Beware the Anfield roar!

Liverpool fans have a reputation for generating an amazing atmosphere at Anfield © PA Photos
  • It's not just Manuel Pellegrini who is refusing to take Jose Mourinho's latest title race claim seriously; Brendan Rodgers also believes the team run by his former mentor are in the running.
  • The key remaining games take place at Liverpool, where the title looks likely to be decided, and involve both City and Chelsea.
  • Find out how they have fared at Anfield in recent years here

Pellegrini, the City manager, has tried to blank out the Portuguese's provocation but has found it tough not to bite back.

"I don't think important managers can give any importance to those mind games," Pellegrini said. "I don't know if you think managers who seem to play mind games are more intelligent, but I don't think so.

"I don't have a response because I don't know what Mourinho said. It is not my duty to analyse what Mourinho says, it is your duty.

"I repeat: I don't know the way he thinks. My way of thinking is that the four teams have the same options to win the title. It is very close, as all the other teams have 18 points more to win, with six games more."

Speaking after Chelsea's shock 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday, Mourinho claimed his side's title bid was all but over and subsequently threatened his squad's flaky players with a clearout.

Mourinho has this season attempted to protest he does not play mind games but has engaged in a lengthy war of words with Arsene Wenger and gone to great lengths to push the opinion that Chelsea have been underdogs in the title race all season.

City are well placed to clinch the crown, sitting four points off top-placed Liverpool, whose manager has promised a fearless charge and with two games in hand.

However, Pellegrini is adamant there are still four teams in the race and does not believe Mourinho's side are anywhere near out of it.

"We have eight games more and we have to win those six points. We don't have six points more, we have had two games postponed so I think we all have the same chances."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close