London - Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has launched an astonishing attack on Gary Neville after the former Manchester United star criticised his team's defending.
Neville has repeatedly highlighted flaws in Chelsea's back-four in his role as a television pundit and newspaper columnist and Villas-Boas snapped when asked about the ex-England star's forthright views.
Villas-Boas was particularly frustrated that Neville had described Chelsea centre-back David Luiz as playing "like he was controlled by a 10-year-old on Playstation".
"He is one of the best central defenders in the world, a player of tremendous aspirations and talent," Villas-Boas said.
"You cannot say he is being controlled by a kid in the stands. That's ridiculous. He plays for the country (Brazil) with the most world titles. So be careful what you are saying.
"When he (Neville) takes this ridiculous route I have to defend. And I'd say it to his face with much pleasure."
Villas-Boas already had a grudge against Neville after watching the televised build-up to Chelsea's Champions League win over Valencia, during which he claimed Neville had suggested he would not want to be in the Blues dressing room at the moment because the club was in a mess.
"What does he know about the Chelsea dressing room? What does Gary Neville know about our dressing room?" Villas-Boas said.
"How can you imagine what is going on in the Chelsea dressing room? How can you know?
"Have you been here? Do you know where Cobham (Chelsea's training ground) is? You don't even know how to get here!
"You can't speculate and invent on things that are going on, based on assumptions or informants or speculation. Some people can have more or less an idea. But not him. He cannot know.
"I'm normally indifferent, not watching on the telly to see what these people say.
"But I was watching the television at that moment, and I was gobsmacked."
Villas-Boas's blast at Neville came just two days after he accused the English media of persecuting his team this season.
The former Porto coach has already hit out at Alan Hansen after the former Liverpool star, who now works on the BBC's Match of the Day football programme, criticised the west London club and he is growing fed up with the constant sniping.
"Comic criticism and the lack of in-depth criticism from top ex-professional players, when they take the route to the ridiculous, I think I have a word to say," Villas-Boas.
"When they opt for words as we've been seeing, in the past, I have to be aggressive."