Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho angrily accused West Ham United of playing "football from the nineteenth century" after they secured a hard-fought 0-0 draw against his side.
Chelsea dominated a one-sided game at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, but were unable to find a way through the obdurate defence of Sam Allarydce`s West Ham.
That meant they missed out on the chance to move second in the Premier League table, leaving them three points behind new leaders Manchester City, who they face next at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.
"It`s very difficult to play a football match where only one team wants to play," said Mourinho. "Very difficult. A match is about two teams playing. This match was only one team playing, and another team not.
"I told Big Sam (Allardyce), and I repeat my words, that they need points. Because they need points, to come here and not play and do it the way they did, is it acceptable? Maybe yes. Maybe yes.
"I cannot be too critical because if I was in this position, I don`t know if I would do the same. Maybe I would. So I don`t want to criticise that.
"But at the same time, this is not Premier League. This is not the best league in the world. This is football from the nineteenth century. Too bad."
Asked what he meant by `nineteenth-century football`, Mourinho said: "Pretending injuries, cheating. I don`t know if that`s the right word. The goalkeeper taking his time not after minute 70, but in the first minute.
"Ten defenders in the box, defenders not putting a foot outside the box. Very basic. But I`m nobody to criticise. They are happy. They get a point."
Allardyce laughed off the criticism after a result that left his side two points from safety in the relegation zone.
"Jose can`t take it, can he?" the West Ham manager said. "He can`t take it because we`ve `out-tacticked` him, outwitted him. He just can`t cope. He can tell me all he wants. I don`t care, to be honest.
"I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate him, Jose jumping up and down in his technical area. It`s great to see."
Mourinho refused to criticise his team, insisting that they had done everything they could have done to secure a win.
"With my players, I`m happy," he said. "The second half was phenomenal. We tried, we created, we missed goals, the goalkeeper saved, the defenders saved two. I cannot complain with my people, and I am nobody to criticise what they did."
The Chelsea manager admitted that Manchester City`s 5-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur confirmed Manuel Pellegrini`s side as favourites for the title -- and to beat his own side comfortably next week.
"For how many months have I said the same thing? One team (City) is an end product. The other is a team trying to build," said Mourinho.
"For me, it`s not a surprise. We go there next Monday and the result at this moment is 0-0. Are they favourites? Yes. Are they favourites to score again four, five, six goals? Yes. But it`s 0-0 now and we go there to compete."
Allardyce was pleased with his side`s point, but admitted that injuries to Mohamed Diame and Joey O`Brien had taken some of the gloss off the result.
O`Brien dislocated his shoulder late on and is expected to be out for up to three months, while Diame injured his knee when he fell over the advertising hoardings.
"The two injuries were a problem -- Mo when he fell over the advertising boards, and Joey has dislocated his shoulder," Allardyce said.
"That`s the third dislocation for us this season. I`ve not had three in my entire career. But we`ve got players coming back, players who can`t get on the bench, so the squad is strong enough to cope.
"Diame has a bang on his knee where he fell. Joey is 10-12 weeks."