Manuel Pellegrini v Jose Mourinho: How their spicy head-to-head record has developed over the years

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 22 November 2019, 11:51

Two former Premier League title-winning managers, both of whom have managed Real Madrid, renew their managerial rivalry on Saturday at the London Stadium.

Jose Mourinho is back bidding to make an instant impact at Tottenham away to a West Ham side whose own incumbent, Manuel Pellegrini, heads into the crunch clash fearing for his future in the dreaded Sack Race.

“He’s not my friend, but he’s not my enemy,” revealed Pellegrini this week.

“We have different ways of thinking about football.”

Pellegrini, without a win in seven games, will be somewhat aggrieved considering that he’s had to shred his pre-match notes on the now former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who hadn’t won away in 12 Premier League games dating back to February. In his place is Pellegrini’s old foe Mourinho, reinvigorated from his 11-month hiatus from the dugout.

Below we look at the history of the pair’s managerial rivalry...

In Focus: Pellegrini vs Mourinho

The managers have sat in opposing dugouts to each other a grand total of 14 times in two countries, three different club scenarios, and four competitions.

Mourinho has triumphed on seven occasions, to Pellegrini’s four wins, while the honours have been shared on three occasions.

- Clashes: 14

- Mourinho Wins: 7

- Pellegrini Wins: 4

- Honours Shared: 3


Saturday's clash will be the 15th meeting between the managers

Spain: Real Madrid vs Malaga

Mourinho succeeded Pellegrini at Real Madrid in the summer of 2010, and after a few months out of the game the Chilean returned to La Liga with Malaga after he penned a three-year deal.

“If Madrid were to fire me, I wouldn’t go to Malaga. I’d go to a top-level team in Italy or England.” - Mourinho said at the time.

If Pellegrini was annoyed by that comment, he must have been incensed come the end of their first clash against each other: Real Madrid 7-0 Malaga.

A 4-0 home defeat followed the next season, as did home-and-away defeats in the Copa del Rey, although Pellegrini’s men bagged a point at the Bernabeu in the return league fixture, however this wouldn't have bothered Mourinho too much as got his hands on the La Liga title a couple of months later.

Pellegrini then picked up his first win over Mourinho in an entertaining 3-2 victory on home soil, but Mourinho had the last laugh in Spain in a 6-2 spanking in the capital, before both managers jetted over to England.

England: Chelsea vs Man City

Pellegrini lifted the Premier League trophy in his very first season at Man City, however he did lose both league games to Mourinho’s Chelsea, with the Portuguese coach celebrating wildly after a last-gasp 2-1 win in the first encounter, which didn’t go down well with Pellegrini.

“I didn’t shake hands. Because I didn’t want to.”

The Citizens did gain revenge as they progressed through to the FA Cup quarter-finals at Chelsea’s expense, and a couple of weeks later Pellegrini lifted the League Cup trophy.

City were unable to mount a successful title defence, as Mourinho worked his second season magic, although both league fixtures ended 1-1.

In August 2015 City pumped Chelsea 3-0, and shortly after Mourinho suffered the sack, whereas Pellegrini ended his third and final City season with another League Cup in the trophy cabinet.

England, The Brief Sequel: Man Utd vs West Ham

The rivalry then took a two-year break as Pellegrini decided to bolster his bank balance over in China, whereas Mourinho bagged the job he always wanted: Man Utd.

In the summer of 2018 Pellegrini was lured back to these shores by West Ham, a few months before Mourinho’s United tenure came to a halt. 

However, the duo managed to squeeze in a league game; a 3-1 win for Pellegrini’s West Ham which condemned Man Utd to their worst league start in 29 years.

Mourinho v West Ham

Mourinho also comes out on top in his personal record against West Ham, spread across two spells at Chelsea, and his Man Utd tenure.

Mourinho has won 11 of the 16 clashes against the club, which gives him a 68.75% win rate. He’s only lost twice, one of which was his aforementioned last match against the Hammers, with the other a 2-1 loss in his second stint at Chelsea, a game in which he was sent to the stands.

Mourinho was a few months after both of his defeats to West Ham, at Chelsea and Man Utd respectively.

Mourinho’s first game record

Mourinho’s opening game in charge of Benfica remains his only loss when it comes to his first games at his previous eight spells at clubs. 

At Uniao De Leiria he drew 0-0 against Braga, before overseeing opening wins at Porto and Chelsea over Maritimo and Man Utd respectively. His Inter Milan side were held 1-1 by Sampdoria, and Real Madrid played out a goalless draw against Mallorca.

His return to Chelsea was victorious in the form of a 2-0 win over Hull, then Man Utd beat Leicester 2-1 back in 2016.

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