Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been accused of taking a 'swipe' at personal rival Jose Mourinho by suggesting that Chelsea and Tottenham are 'the best' in terms of always trying to play their own brand of football, seemingly ignoring Manchester United.
Mourinho has earned a reputation for intense pragmatism throughout his career, playing to win at all costs, and often adjusting his tactics to suit individual games and opponents.
It can often come at the expense of what might be considered 'attractive' football and, despite United outscoring every team in the Premier League this season apart from leaders City, that criticism has once more been thrown at Mourinho from multiple angles.
"I think Tottenham are with Chelsea as the best team in wanting to play football," Guardiola is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail ahead of City's clash with Spurs this Sunday.
"They don't expect their opponents [to force the play], they want to make their own game. It is another amazing test for us after games every three days," he added.
In reality, it is unlikely that Guardiola's were a deliberate attempt to publicly shame United and more simply intended as a compliment paid to an upcoming opponent to shield his team.
However, it comes in the wake of a heated few days after last Sunday's Manchester derby descended into a brawl in the tunnel after the game after Mourinho took offence to City's loud victory celebrations and further feeds into this 'feud' narrative.
Guardiola didn't help the situation a few days earlier by insisting that he would not be offering his apologies if only Mourinho was offended by what happened. Rather, he and City are only sorry if United as a club were offended.
"If we offended Manchester United, not just one player, not Jose, then I apologise," he said.