Frank Lampard was in no mood to entertain Jose Mourinho's assertion that Antonio Rudiger got Son Heung-min sent off during Chelsea's 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur.
It was a case of the apprentice besting the master at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Willian's first-half brace only telling part of the story when it came to the superiority of Lampard's Chelsea against Mourinho's abject Spurs.
The occasion was marred when Rudiger told match officials he had suffered racist abuse from the stands during the second half and Spurs have pledged to take strong action against anyone found guilty.
While Lampard and Mourinho were united in their condemnation of another bleak episode for British football, they had different views of the incident involving Rudiger and Son that saw the Spurs forward sent off following a VAR review.
Son kicked out after going to ground in an aerial challenge with the Germany centre-back, who Mourinho mockingly suggested might have "broken ribs" at a post-match news conference.
"In some countries, like mine, for example with our culture we used to say clever player," the Portuguese coach said.
"But in this country, and one of the reasons I fell in love with this country in 2004, we don't call them clever, we call them other things that I refuse to call."
Lampard felt such an assessment was somewhat missing the point.
"It was a red card. I don't know how much he's supposed to make out of it," he said.
"I think Son is a great player and, I don't know him, from the outside he looks like a great person. But sometimes in football you have instinctive moments.
"It happened, it was a bit of a reflex. Maybe sometimes in a game where you're having it really tough and it's going against you a little bit and I think it was that [type of] moment.
"I will not have any words said about how Toni Rudiger dealt with that."
Nevertheless, Lampard insisted his respect for Mourinho – under whom he enjoyed some of the finest years of a decorated playing career at Stamford Bridge – remains undimmed.
"I think to go up against a manager who I respect so much from my playing days and for what he's done in the game and win, that obviously feels good," he added, having celebrated with prolonged euphoria before the travelling Chelsea fans at full-time.
"He spoke before the game about how he really loves me but he wants to beat me. That's completely understandable and that's how I went into this game.
"It should never change that, even if we have anything on the line in the heat of the 90 minutes, which we didn't.
"What Jose has done with his career and what he's done for me as a player means I have respect for him."
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