Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho described Arsene Wenger as "a specialist in failure" as he responded to the Arsenal manager's Premier League title race taunt.
On Friday morning Wenger declared the title is Chelsea's to lose and insisted anyone who claims their team are not in the race does so out of fear of failure.
Mourinho has repeatedly played down Chelsea's chances of winning the Premier League this season, describing his side as the "little horse" in the race and making them third favourites behind Manchester City and the Gunners, despite currently leading the standings.
"He is a specialist in failure. I'm not," said Mourinho, whose side play City in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday. "If supposedly he is right and I'm afraid to fail, it's because I haven't failed many times.
"Maybe he's right. Maybe I'm not used to failing. The reality is he is a specialist. Eight years without a piece of silverware - that's failure. If I do that at Chelsea, eight years, I leave London and I don't come back."
Wenger, whose side are a point behind Chelsea in second place, albeit having played a match more than City, had said: "If you're not in the race you cannot lose it, if you declare yourself not in the race you cannot lose it, simple as that. I think just that our job is to be ambitious and to try to win, if we do not win to take full responsibility for that. That's as simple as that and that's how I see it.
"I say yes we are in it, yes we will have a go for it, we will absolutely give everything to go for it and if we don't do I will take responsibility for it, but I just see it like that."
Having had to listen to pundits claim all season his side do not have what it takes to last the distance, Wenger is not about to be concerned with any reverse psychology tactics from Mourinho, who previously stated Chelsea were the "little horse" in the title race.
"We live in a league and in a country where we have one advantage - everybody can think what he wants, (but) it is very difficult when you're first in the league to distract people," Wenger said.