Pellegrini was asked why he left it so late to return from their warm weather camp in Dubai ahead of the Cup tie.
“It was not a game with Chelsea,” he replied. “I don’t want to say because you are telling me something that is not relative.”
So he was asked again. Would they have spent 14 hours on a plane, not to mention five days in a different time zone, had it been the week they were meeting their main rivals for the Premier League title?
“Chelsea stayed here. They did not go to Abu Dhabi,” he said. “Tottenham stayed here. They did not go to Abu Dhabi. I respect your opinion but you respect also mine.”