LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Friday took aim at Jose Mourinho as he ridiculed the Chelsea manager's claim that the London club are the "little horse" in the title race.
Mourinho's side drew level with second-placed City thanks to a 1-0 victory at Eastlands on Monday, but afterwards the Portuguese coach said Chelsea were still third favourites for the Premier League crown behind Pellegrini's men and leaders Arsenal.
Pellegrini has rarely engaged in verbal jousting since moving to City in the close-season, but the Chilean was quick to poke fun at Mourinho's mind games, while pointing out that Chelsea have been one of the one of heaviest spenders of recent times so should accept the pressure of having to win trophies.
"Maybe it is a small horse if the manager thinks like that. It can be a little horse, but very rich," Pellegrini said.
"This is the team that has spent most money in the last 10 years, is the team that spent most money this year and the team that spent the most money in the transfer window. So, little - but rich." Pellegrini has a rivalry with Mourinho dating back to when the Chelsea boss succeeded him at Real Madrid in 2010.
But in previous weeks he has refused to engage in the apparent mind games of the Stamford Bridge chief.
Mourinho went on to say on Monday that City remain the title favourites, but Pellegrini insists Chelsea cannot be written off.
"He has shown in the last two games (against us) he has a strong team with some great players," Pellegrini added.
"I think he is favourite. He thinks if he wins he will have the merits but if he loses he does not have responsibility.
"It is the way he acts. Everyone acts the way he thinks is better for the team.
"I think it will be very close with Chelsea and Arsenal. Arsenal are the favourites because they have two points' lead in the table.
"Of the 24 games we have played, Arsenal have been top of the table for 16 or 17. They have an important advantage.
"I am sure the three will fight to the end for the title."