Manuel Pellegrini has succumbed to José Mourinho's mind games

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Although he insisted that he does not bear any ill-feeling towards José Mourinho, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini's quotes about his Chelsea counterpart published in Chilean newspaper El Mercurio smack of bitterness and hypocrisy.

“When he wins, Mourinho wants to take credit for everything. I never do that,” said Pellegrini, before going on to claim that he had "no interest" in analysing the Portuguese as a person - despite having just done exactly that.

Mourinho, of course, initiated the public spat between the two in 2010. The then Real Madrid manager, who had taken over from Pellegrini, pretended to forget his predecessor's name - dubbing him "Mr. Pellegrino". Mourinho has since continued to taunt Pellegrini with this nickname.

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The pair carried their animosity towards each other into England, with Pellegrini refusing to shake Mourinho's hand after the latter's exuberant celebration of a late Fernando Torres winner for Chelsea against City in October 2013.

At this point, Pellegrini still held the moral high ground over his adversary. Mourinho somewhat acknowledged as much when he claimed that although he was merely celebrating with his son, he was sorry if he had offended Manchester City.

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Manchester City went on to win the title and Pellegrini remained calm and collected in his press conferences; telling the world that he was not interested in a slanging match with Mourinho. 

However, when Chelsea started the 2014/15 season in fine form, the Chilean began to falter. After the sides played out a 1-1 draw at The Etihad, he accused Chelsea of playing like a "small team"; to which Mourinho responded: "Pellegrino, many times he says he never speaks about me and my team, but he keeps doing the same thing."

And Pellegrini's latest subtle barb perfectly fits the role of the bitter, passive-aggressive man Mourinho portrayed him as.

The Manchester City manager told El Mercurio that when he won the Premier League, he "didn't say a word".

He can avoid piling more pressure on himself in future by doing the same when asked about Mourinho until City's next title success.

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Manchester City
Premier League
Jose Mourinho

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