Manuel Pellegrini claims he would be sad if Chelsea were to win the Premier League this season because of the lack of goals they have scored.
Pellegrini has refused to respond to Jose Mourinho's remarks and mind games throughout the season in a rivalry which dates back to when the pair managed Malaga and Real Madrid respectively.
But the Manchester City boss appears to have decided to engage in the exchanges with Mourinho on what could be a pivotal day in the title race.
City travel to table-topping Liverpool on Sunday and are four points adrift but have two games in hand. City are two points behind second-placed Chelsea and also have two games in hand over Mourinho's side.
And Pellegrini has fired the latest bullet to Chelsea by insisting it would be a great shame to see Mourinho and his players lift the Premier League trophy come the end of the campaign because of the lack of goals they have scored: with Chelsea only scoring 65 compared to Liverpool's 90 and City's 84.
"It would be very disappointing -- for football, for the fans, for everyone [if Chelsea won the title]," Pellegrini said. "I think the most attractive football, the more goals you can score, should be rewarded. I'm not saying it's not important to defend very well. Football is attacking and defending. But I think big teams must play as big teams."
Some of City's notable victories have seen them score seven against Norwich, six against Arsenal and 11 across two games against Tottenham. Last month they put five past Fulham and beat neighbours Manchester United 3-0 before they hit another four when Southampton visited the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool have hit form since the turn of the year and their current run of nine successive wins has yielded 32 goals.
Asked if he was concerned about the Reds' attacking threat, Pellegrini said: "It's exactly the concern Liverpool will have against our team, if they want to be an attacking team - and they are an attacking team. But I think we've done very well (defensively), Southampton didn't have many chances to score.
"Of course if you defend with 10 players near your box, you are not going to have space for the other team. But the most important thing about these two teams is they play attractive, offensive football. Both teams are very close for this.''
Pellegrini also feels his side have not received enough credit for their defensive work in recent months. City have had problems at the back this season but they have conceded only twice in their last seven league matches and he said: "I never divide the team in the way I think. There is a team with 11 players and the 11 players must know how to defend and the 11 players must know how to attack.
"Both teams have scored a lot of goals during the season but if we are with Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table, it is because we also know how to defend.''
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.