Jose Mourinho has played down Tottenham’s title hopes by describing them as a “pony” in a horse race.
But Mourinho is adamant Tottenham are not among the title contenders – claiming he does not have a squad to compare with the likes of Chelsea.
“We are not even in the race, so we are not a horse,” he said “We are the small, young horse - a pony. We are just a pony, and you see the difference.
“Joe Rodon was playing for Swansea [last season] - Thiago Silva was for many years and still is one of the best centre-backs in the world. And maybe one month of Thiago’s salary pays Joe a year salary.
“So, calm. I’m very happy with Joe, very happy with the profile.
“I’m very happy with my team, very happy with my guys, very happy with this mentality - that we come to Stamford Bridge, we get a point, we are top of the league, and we are not happy.”
By contrast, Mourinho insists Lampard is presiding over a genuine title-challenging team at Chelsea.
He added: “They are one of the biggest contenders, no doubt about that. I believe that for them it is not a problem at all to be two points behind us and Liverpool I think.
“And if Leicester wins they are also on the same points as us.
“I don’t think it’s a problem for Chelsea - they know how powerful they are with the squad they have, and they know this is a long, long run. And they also know that Tottenham is not a candidate.”
Those comments were given short shrift by Lampard afterwards, with the Chelsea manager all too familiar with Mourinho’s psychological tactics.
He responded: “It’s Jose’s call to say it as he sees it from his end, but from the outside they are top of the league. If we’re contenders then they have to be contenders.
“They have invested heavily – they’ve got people like Gareth Bale sitting on the bench, Dele Alli’s not here. There is a strong squad there.
“So I think we are all competing, but Jose can say can say it as he sees it.”
“I suppose it’s irrelevant what the feeling is after the game from Jose’s point of view for us.
“We know it’s tight at the top. There are not just ourselves, Tottenham and Liverpool that are in the race, there are a lot of teams around us in this season which is looking slightly different to recent seasons. I don’t know what to say about that to be honest.”
Mourinho said his players were disappointed to walk away with a draw, despite Spurs showing minimal ambition throughout.
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane claimed the Tottenham boss would be secretly delighted with the result – but Mourinho said: “I respect Roy a lot, I like him a lot. It was an incredible experience working from him, I learned a lot from his experiences.
“But this time I don’t agree with him. It’s not true. My players are my witnesses, we came here to win. We were ready to punish them if they take the normal risks, the normal dynamics that they had.
“But James, two crosses in 90 minutes. Chillwell only defended, Kante always in front of the two centre-backs. They played very well. Tactically and strategically, very well.”
Despite Mourinho’s comments, it was Chelsea who dominated the chances in a cagy match and Olivier Giroud could have scored a last gasp winner after coming on as a late substitute.
Lampard added: “We wanted to win the game and the frustration of sorts is because we deserved to win the game in terms of chances and territory.
But you only get what you deserve if you score the goals, which we didn’t do.
“There was one team pushing strongly to win the game and the other team were trying to stay in the game and get a draw probably - at the end for sure.”