Roberto Mancini left England with very little to celebrate after his Galatasaray side were knocked out of the Champion League by Chelsea, but that didn't stop the Italian boss having one last jab at Jose Mourinho.
Despite comfortably overcoming the Turkish side 2-0 in the round of 16 second-leg, pushing the score to 3-1 on aggregate, Mourinho's men should prepare for a lack of success this season—according to Mancini.
As reported by Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, the former Manchester City manager is backing his old team to win the Premier League:
"Who will win the Premier League? I think City are the best team," mused Mancini.
The London Evening Standard's James Olley reported further details:
Mancini says he thinks Man City will win the PL. Why? "They have the best team. They have the best players."— James Olley (@JamesOlley) March 18, 2014
Although acknowledging his team did "nothing" throughout the match, Mancini's damning verdict signals an end to the back-and-forth bickering between the pair that has continued across the past three weeks.
Mancini originally suggested he built the Inter Milan team that captured the 2009-10 Champions League crown, a squad Mourinho was lucky to take over just in time to land the prize. Mourinho retaliated by claiming his predecessor put together "a five-a-side team," as reported by ESPN.
This led to numerous tidbits during the pre-match press conferences before both legs of the European tie. Heading into the second encounter, Mancini claimed his opposite is something of a loner, reported by Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard:
"We certainly aren't friends. I don't think Mourinho wants to have friends, or maybe that's just the way he likes to appear," said Mancini.
Not wanting to be outdone, Mourinho responded by saying he would turn down a post-match meal with Mancini, reported by Hannah Duncan of the Metro:
"I won't have a meal with somebody who has the same job as I do, and the only thing we have in common is the fact we're both football managers," said Mourinho.
Will Chelsea win the Champions League?
It was the Portuguese manager's team who had the last laugh on the pitch with a simple win over their Turkish rivals. Galatasaray failed to replicate the intensity of their first-leg performance, highlighted by Didier Drogba's stunted performance, and they exit the competition in unambitious fashion.
Not wanting to dwell on his personal battle with Mancini, Mourinho spared a thought for David Moyes, who leads his Manchester United team in a bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Olympiacos on March 19, per Mokbel's report.
Although Chelsea's win was expected by many, Mourinho will be pleased with the team's straightforward passage into the quarter-finals. He seems assured of his squad's quality and confident the side can challenge if they hit the top of their game.
Mourinho will also be happy to send Mancini packing with a whimper, ending this chapter in the duo's heated relationship by coming out on top.