Pellegrini: Chelsea a ‘rich’ horse

Norwich v Man City
Manuel Pellegrini has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s claim that Chelsea are the title race’s “little horse”.

Mourinho’s Chelsea drew level with second-placed City with a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Monday but afterwards said they were still third favourites.

Pellegrini brushed off that suggestion by pointing out that Chelsea have been one of the heaviest spenders of recent times.

The Chilean said: “Maybe it is a small horse if the manager thinks like that. It can be a little horse, but very rich.

“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.”

The Chilean had a withering dig at Mourinho’s efforts to play down Chelsea’s chances.

Pellegrini said: “He has shown in the last two games (against us) he has a strong team with some great players.

“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.”

Pellegrini also blasted the Portuguese’s claim City were "lucky" because big refereeing decisions had gone in their favour.: "The only time a referee has come out and apologised about an important mistake is in the Chelsea-Hull {actually West Brom} game — the penalty in the 93rd or 94th minute. That's given them two points more.

"So it's very easy to every week say what you think is better for you.

"There's a famous sentence, 'Lie, lie, but some things always remain'."

City remain above Chelsea on goal difference and will hope to hold off their challenge, and respond to Monday’s setback, with victory at Norwich this weekend. “It’s very important the way the team reacts after the defeat,” said Pellegrini.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton is ignoring the fact 15th-placed Norwich are two points clear of the drop zone. He said: “We’re three points away from 10th place. We want to be looking upwards, not downwards. We have to make sure that we come up with the goods.”

- Newcastle and Norwich have both been fined and warned as to their future conduct, the FA, following a bust-up between the clubs at Carrow Road on January 28.


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